Apple files lawsuit against NSO Group stating it targets Apple users

Apple Park photo of the side of the main building
Apple Park photo of the side of the main building (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple is suing the NSO Group.
  • Apple says the lawsuit is to "hold it accountable for the surveillance and targeting of Apple users."
  • They aren't the only company to sue NSO Group.

Apple may be heading to court again, but this time it won't be to defend itself from Epic Games but rather to sue the NSO Group, the Israeli surveillance company.

Apple claims that the NSO Group has surveilled and targeted Apple users with no accountability long enough. Apple is seeking to no longer allow NSO to use any Apple software in the future. Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, says while Apple devices are every secure state-sponsored spyware has become dangerous.

"Apple devices are the most secure consumer hardware on the market — but private companies developing state-sponsored spyware have become even more dangerous. While these cybersecurity threats only impact a very small number of our customers, we take any attack on our users very seriously, and we're constantly working to strengthen the security and privacy protections in iOS to keep all our users safe."

Apple is also seeking damages, an unspecified amount, for the costs associated with dealing with, what Apple calls, abuse of its products. Apple has committed to donating the proceeds to organizations that help uncover spyware.

Apple isn't the first company to sue the NSO Group over similar allegations. Facebook sued the NSO Group back in 2019 for targeting WhatsApp users.

Still, it's pretty odd for Apple to announce they are suing a company. Lawsuits happen all the time in tech without Apple or other companies making a news release. It could be that Apple is deeply passionate about this specific issue, or it could also be a good way to drum up some public support for the cause. In any case, Apple hasn't issued a news release about suing a company since 2010, when it sued HTC for patent infringement.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.