Jerusalem24 – VICE NEWS – Amazon Web Services (AWS) has shut down infrastructure and accounts linked to Israeli surveillance vendor NSO Group, Amazon said in a statement.
The move comes as a group of media outlets and activist organizations published new research into NSO’s malware and phone numbers potentially selected for targeting by NSO’s government clients.
“When we learned of this activity, we acted quickly to shut down the relevant infrastructure and accounts,” an AWS spokesperson told Motherboard in an email.
Amnesty International published a forensic investigation on Sunday that, among other things, determined that NSO customers have had access to zero-day attacks in Apple’s iMessage as recently as this year. As part of that research, Amnesty wrote that a phone infected with NSO’s Pegasus malware sent information “to a service fronted by Amazon CloudFront, suggesting NSO Group has switched to using AWS services in recent months.” The Amnesty report included part of the same statement from Amazon, showing Amnesty contacted the company before publication.
Citizen Lab, in a peer review of Amnesty’s findings, said in its own post that the group “independently observed NSO Group begin to make extensive use of Amazon services including CloudFront in 2021.”
CloudFront is a content delivery network (CDN) that allows customers, in this case NSO, to more quickly and reliably deliver content to users.
“Amazon CloudFront is a fast content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency, high transfer speeds, all within a developer-friendly environment,” CloudFront’s website reads.