US Court Mandates NSO Group to Surrender Pegasus Source Codes to WhatsApp

In a groundbreaking decision, a US court has compelled NSO Group, a notorious cyber-weapon manufacturer known for its espionage tools such as the infamous Pegasus software, to hand over the source codes of Pegasus and other spyware products to WhatsApp.

The ruling, delivered by US judge Phyllis Hamilton, signifies a significant victory for Meta-owned messaging platform WhatsApp, which has been embroiled in a legal battle against NSO since 2019, as reported by The Guardian.

The Pegasus code, along with the codes of NSO’s other surveillance products, is considered highly classified state secrets. NSO Group operates under the supervision of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, which meticulously reviews and approves all license sales to foreign governments.

A spokesperson for WhatsApp praised the court’s decision as a crucial milestone in safeguarding users against illicit cyberattacks. The spokesperson emphasized the importance of spyware entities recognizing the consequences of their actions and understanding that they are subject to legal repercussions.

It’s noteworthy that NSO Group faced sanctions from the Biden administration in 2021, following an assessment that the Israeli company’s activities were contrary to US foreign policy and national security interests.

This court order signifies a significant step towards holding NSO Group accountable for its actions and highlights the increasing global scrutiny over the proliferation of cyber espionage tools. As the legal battle unfolds, the impact of this ruling on the landscape of digital privacy and security in the future remains to be seen.