Facebook Inc. has alleged that Israeli spyware firm NSO Group Technologies Ltd. hacked around 1,400 WhatsApp users utilizing U.S. servers.
The claim came in a court filing Friday made in response to a Try by NSO Group and its affiliate Q Cyber Technologies Ltd. to possess the WhatsApp lawsuit dismissed. NSO claims that it’s sovereign immunity from the suit, filed in October, as it functions hand-in-hand with foreign government intelligence agencies.
Facebook countered by stating that NSO and Q Cyber were responsible under U.S. law because they’d used servers located in the U.S. belonging to Amazon Web Services Inc. and a California data center company named QuadraNet to undertake its own alleged hacking campaigns.
According to The Jerusalem Post, Facebook asserts that NSO had a contract with QuadraNet, with its host “over 700 times during the assault to direct NSO’s malware to WhatsApp user apparatus in April and May 2019.” Together with supplying IP addresses, Facebook stated, NSO used lots of subdomains hosted on Amazon servers throughout the strikes.
The strikes are alleged to have targeted human rights defenders, journalists, and other members of”civil society” across the planet, including attorneys, diplomats, and senior foreign government officials. Those targeted mostly lived in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Mexico.
The hacking involved using Pegasus, a Kind of malware that Allegedly contacts NSO command-and-control servers for directions. Where liability gets shady is that Pegasus is marketed by NSO but not always operated by it.
NSO Group once again denied the allegations. “Our products are utilized To prevent terrorism, curb violent crime and save lives,” the firm said. “NSO Group doesn’t operate the Pegasus applications for its customers, nor is it used against U.S. cell phone numbers, or contrary to a device within the geographical bounds of America.”
The WhatsApp case is only one scrutiny facing the NSO Group. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation also is believed to be investigating the company to determine whether it had been included in hacking U.S. residents and businesses.
Reuters reported that in January, The FBI was looking into if NSO software was utilized in the hack of a phone belonging to Amazon.com Inc… Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos. That hack was connected to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.