Facebook has filed a lawsuit against Israeli company NSO Group, creator of the Pegasus spyware, alleging that it was behind the massive WhatsApp hack earlier this year.
In May 2019, a zero-day vulnerability was found in WhatsApp’s messaging platform, exploited by attackers who were able to inject spyware onto victims’ phones in targeted campaigns. A new lawsuit by WhatsApp owner Facebook alleges that NSO Group developed the surveillance code and used vulnerable WhatsApp servers to send malware to approximately 1,400 mobile devices.
“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,” said Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp, in a Tuesday post. “In addition, as our complaint notes, we have tied certain WhatsApp accounts used during the attacks back to NSO. While their attack was highly sophisticated, their attempts to cover their tracks were not entirely successful.”