NSO Does Not Play the Facebook Game

January 16, 2020

We spotted a write up in Techdirt, an interesting publication indeed. The story is “Malware Marketer NSO Group Looks Like It’s Blowing Off Facebook’s Lawsuit.”

The title suggested to some of the DarkCyber team that NSO is a not so good company. It is a malware marketer. Furthermore, the company is “blowing off” Facebook’s lawsuit.

The Facebook case asserts that the NSO Group exploited WhatsApp. The goal? Compromise an actor’s mobile device via software. This approach is known as an attack vector created by Facebook.

NSO, as DarkCyber has noted in this blog and our videos, has been generating media attention. Specialized software companies providing technology to government entities generally prefer to maintain a lower profile.

What’s the status of Facebook’s legal action? Techdirt states:

Facebook’s lawsuit is going nowhere fast. While it’s not uncommon for there to be a delay between the filing of a complaint and the defendant’s response, NSO hasn’t filed anything — not even a notice of appearance from its corporate counsel — since the filing of the suit.

NSO is not a US company. It is owned by a Japanese firm and most of the technical operations are still under the umbrella of Israeli citizens.

DarkCyber thinks that Facebook’s challenge to NSO was an interesting action.

First, NSO responds to its customers’ needs. This means that outfits like Facebook which often drag their running shoe shod feet when it comes to dealing with government requests for data invites attention from specialist firms. Look in the mirror, Facebookers.

Second, Facebook wants to encrypt everything, create its own walled garden, and operate like a country. Okay, Facebookers, that attitude invites some special attention. Look in the mirror, Facebookers.

Third, the challenge to NSO strikes DarkCyber like an New Age slow cooker calling a microwave an unnecessary luxury. Nope. Look in the mirror, Facebooks, or in this case, in the reflection in the slow cooker’s aluminum skin.

Net net: Facebook may want to think a bit harder about the resources available to specialist software firms. Why? Nothing special, of course.

Stephen E Arnold, February 16, 2020

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