Lawyers for the US Department of Justice have requested information from WhatsApp about the alleged attempt to hack 1,400 accounts with software from the Israeli company NSO,
Monday, based on an anonymous source.
WhatsApp went to court in 2019 in the United States, because NSO spy software was allegedly sent to fourteen hundred people via WhatsApp servers.
NSO formally only sells its espionage software (spyware) to governments so that they can use it to combat terrorism and serious crime.
However, the software has also been used against politicians, journalists, lawyers and human rights activists.
The spyware allegedly allows an NSO customer to read chat messages, eavesdrop on conversations, take screenshots, locate the device, view the address book, and view the target's internet history, among other things.
Justice would have asked for technical information
, the US Justice Department has asked WhatsApp for technical information about the fourteen hundred alleged targets.
However, it is unclear to what extent the judicial authorities are interested in an investigation.
NSO tells the British newspaper that it is not aware of an investigation.
WhatsApp declined to respond.
Case between WhatsApp and NSO is still ongoing
The lawsuit between WhatsApp and NSO is still ongoing.
The Israeli company is relying on sovereign immunity: because government services would be customers and would be responsible for the deployment of the software, NSO would by extension be immune from serious charges under US law.
Facebook, the owner of WhatsApp, received support in the case from Google, Microsoft and human rights organization Amnesty International, among others.