WhatsApp has decided to take action against the notorious Israel-based NSO Group, a company well known in the world for its sophisticated spyware tools. NSO Group’s spyware tools have been highly leveraged by inhibitory governments around the world to spy on its citizens.
The Facebook-owned company is headed to court to sue NSO Group for allegedly hacking its users.
The allegations stem in May, where reports surfaced about a major vulnerability in WhatsApp. The loophole could allow attackers to implant malware on the target’s device using WhatsApp’s video call feature and without any user interaction.
NSO Group’s spyware dubbed Pegasus was allegedly responsible for the attacks, which was reportedly used to target journalists and human rights activists.
Although the NSO Group denied any direct links to the attacks, WhatsApp says it has evidence that the company was involved, according to Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp.
“As we gathered the information that we lay out in our complaint, we learned that the attackers used servers and Internet-hosting services that were previously associated with NSO.”
WhatsApp has already filed a lawsuit in court, in a move to “hold NSO accountable under U.S. state and federal laws, including the U.S. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.”
Cathcart says the attacks were highly sophisticated, but the attempts to cover their tracks were not entirely successful. The company says about 1400 accounts were affected by the attacks.
In response to the matter, the NSO Group, as usual, disputed the allegations. The company further stated that they “will vigorously fight them (WhatsApp).”