A surveillance firm by the name of NSO Group was accused by Facebook for conducting attacks against WhatsApp. Not only that, the social network also says that the Israeli firm conducted its exploit attacks against the messaging service via servers based in the US.
Facebook says that NSO Group had used the Los Angeles-based hosting service, QuadraNet, more than 700 times to infect WhatsApp users with malware. The social media platform says this was crucial, as NSO had initially made claims that it couldn’t run operations within the US.
WhatsApp filed its lawsuit against NSO Group back in 2019, after it had discovered the latter’s Pegasus hacking platform. Designed to exploit a flaw within WhatsApp’s server. While an estimate 1400 users were reportedly compromised, it was who the group had targetted that really got Facebook’s gears grinding. Several victims were senior government officials from various countries, all of whom were also US allies.
An NSO Group representative says that it “does not operate” its Pegasus platform for customers, which raises the inevitable and rather obvious question of who exactly it developed its hacking platform. Having said that, it’s clear that whatever the defense, it’s clear that the firm is up against a steep hill. Especially since the involvement of US servers has been alluded by Facebook.