Facebook this week filed a lawsuit against a reputed spyware provider that allegedly exploited a WhatsApp vulnerability to enable smartphone hacking, and also pursued legal action against the domain hosts of multiple websites that allegedly offer tools for hacking the social network.

On Tuesday, Facebook and its encrypted messaging subsidiary WhatApp filed a complaint against NSO Group, an Israeli tech and cyber intelligence firm that has garnered a reputation for selling exploits and surveillance to governments, law enforcement agencies and private entities. NSO's parent company Q Cyber Technologies was also named in the complaint (provided here, courtesy of The Register), which was presented to the U.S. District Court of Northern California.

Facebook is accusing the two businesses of using WhatsApp accounts and servers in unauthorized fashion to distribute malware to roughly 1,400 targeted mobile devices in April and May of 2019. Owners of these devices included human-rights advocates, journalists, political dissidents, diplomats and senior foreign government officials, including those with phone numbers based in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Mexico, the Menlo Park, California-based social media company asserts.

Please register to continue.

Already registered? Log in.

Once you register, you'll receive:

  • News analysis

    The context and insight you need to stay abreast of the most important developments in cybersecurity. CISO and practitioner perspectives; strategy and tactics; solutions and innovation; policy and regulation.

  • Archives

    Unlimited access to nearly 20 years of SC Media industry analysis and news-you-can-use.

  • Daily Newswire

    SC Media’s essential morning briefing for cybersecurity professionals.

  • Learning Express

    One-click access to our extensive program of virtual events, with convenient calendar reminders and ability to earn CISSP credits.