Apple sues Israeli spyware company over its Apple products

Apple, after already dropping support for the Meltdown and Spectre computer security flaws as the first customer of NSO Group, another Israeli company accused of selling spyware to governments, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the tech firm Tuesday.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, includes allegations of deceptive business practices, patent infringement and unfair competition.

“Both parties have a mutual customer base,” Apple said in a statement. “We’ve complained about the illegal sale of hardware that could circumvent the security features of the devices that the devices are designed to protect. We remain confident that our customers’ information and devices are secure.”

NSO Group is an Israeli company that makes software tools that trace and steal data from target devices that are using the company’s software. In the complaint, Apple alleges that NSO created software that searches and handles files on users’ Mac, iOS and Apple TV devices.

The most common use of the software involves creating malware that can intercept traffic between Apple users and third parties. Apple has repeatedly issued warnings in the wake of such infections that can cause loss of connectivity and damage to devices.

“The software unlawfully copies private user data, operating system configuration files, libraries used by the operating system to compile machine data for storage and other systems such as the storage subsystem,” according to Apple’s complaint.

NSO’s CEO Uzi Najafi told Reuters that his company would fight the lawsuit, saying it does not “independently agree with the allegations” of the suit.

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