UPDATED 5:15 PM PT – Friday, December 3, 2021
The U.S. State Department is investigating a hacking attempt on American diplomats in Uganda.
According to reports on Friday, up to 11 State Department employees had spyware on their iPhones from Israel-based tech firm “NSO Group.” Reports said the staffers were being hacked over the past several months.
However, NSO Group has denied their products were used in this particular attack and claim to have blocked “relevant customers” from accessing their systems. Officials with the company said they will comply with any government probe.
iPhones of at least nine U.S. State Department employees in Uganda were hacked by an unknown assailant using sophisticated spyware developed by the Israel-based NSO Group
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) December 3, 2021
Several federal agencies have flagged NSO as a national security risk. This comes as the company has been sued by several U.S. tech companies over hacking claims from customers.
The State Department has not yet commented on the matter and haven’t confirmed the culprit of the hackings.