Facebook-owned messaging company WhatsApp filed a complaint against an Israeli company on Tuesday in San Francisco, accusing it of having penetrated its system to spy activists, diplomats and activists around the world. The same complaint is a rare precedent that the company explained about "protecting the privacy and security" of users and "responding" in court to espionage, which was already publicly reported last May.
On May 14 WhatsApp, whose messaging application is installed on 1.5 billion phones worldwide, announced that it has detected a malicious program installed software spy phones through a video call. There is no need to answer the call. Thus, WhatsApp accused the Israeli company NSO Group of being behind this attack, which affected about 1,400 users.
"C & # 39; is a disturbing factor in the attack," said Will Cathcart, president of WhatsApp a forum inside The Washington Post this Tuesday. "Their goal was at least 100 human rights activists, journalists and other members of civil society around the world. This should serve as a wake-up call for technology companies, governments and all Internet users. tools that allow the surveillance of our private life are used and the proliferation of this technology in the hands of irresponsible companies and governments puts us all at risk. "
The NSO company denied it was behind this espionage operation and denied it again on Tuesday after meeting the WhatsApp judicial initiative. "We reject today's accusations in the strongest terms and will fight them hard," NSO said in a statement quoted by Reuters. "The sole purpose of NSO is to provide technology to the secret services and the forces of order to help them fight terrorism and serious crimes."
That episode of l & # 39; hacking It was particularly serious for WhatsApp, as one of its main attractions is the encryption of its messages, or the security that only the sender and the recipient know the content. The cause guarantees that access was obtained through a software called Pegasus, an espionage program that is one of NSO's products. The lawsuit requires that NSO be tried, prohibiting them from using any WhatsApp or Facebook service and compensation.