Digital watchdog Citizen Lab said that they had identified spyware that they associate with the Israeli company NSO, claiming to be exploiting a recently discovered flaw within Apple devices.
In a statement, Citizen Lab said they found the flaw while investigating the Apple device of a Washington-based civil society group employee last week, citing NSO’s Pegasus spyware as the tool being used for its exploitation.
Citizen Lab Senior Researcher Bill Marczack stated that they are confident in pinpointing the culprit to NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, stemming from the forensics done to the affected device.
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Based at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, Marczack said that the attacker may have likely made a mistake while installing the malware.
Apple, however, confirmed to Citizen Lab that using the Apple device’s high-security feature “Lockdown Mode” prevents the attack.
Another senior researcher at Citizen Lab, John Scott-Railton, said that, once again, civil society serves as the “early warning system about really sophisticated attacks.”
Meanwhile, Citizen Lab did not disclose further information regarding the individual or organization affected by the attack.
NSO Group is a blacklisted company by the U.S. government since 2021, following reported cases of abuses, including illicit surveillance of journalists and government officials.