The iPhones of at least nine employees of the US State Department were hacked by a hacker using a high-end device Spying programs Developed by NSO The Israel-based group, according to four sources close to the matter.
Two sources said the attacks in recent months had targeted Ugandan officials or had targeted cases related to the east African country.
Intrusions are the most common known attacks on US officials using NSO. Reuters was unable to determine who carried out the latest cyber attacks.
NSO The group said in a statement on Thursday that it had no indication that its tools had been used, but that it had canceled the accounts involved and said it would conduct an investigation based on the Reuters report.
“If our research shows that these actions actually happened using tools NSOThe spokesperson said that the user will be permanently dismissed and legal procedures will be implemented.” NSOHe added that the company “will also cooperate with any relevant government authority and will provide the information that we will have.”
NSO It has long said that it sells its products only to intelligence clients and government agencies, helps them monitor security threats, and is not directly involved in surveillance operations.
A foreign ministry spokesman declined to comment
A State Department spokesperson declined to comment on the hacks, citing instead the Commerce Department’s recent decision to put the Israeli company on an entity list, making it difficult for American companies to deal with them.
NSO Another spyware group and company was added to the Entity List on the grounds that it developed and provided spyware to foreign governments that used this tool to maliciously target government officials, journalists, businessmen, activists, academics and embassy personnel. Department said last month.
Programming NSO Not only does it capture messages, encrypted photos, and other confidential information from infected phones, it can also turn them into recording devices to monitor surroundings, according to product manuals reviewed by Reuters.
Apple alerting affected users did not specify a file creator
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