Google warns millions of Android users at risk of surveillance from Israeli firm
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Google warns millions of Android users at risk of surveillance from Israeli firm

Tech giant's security researchers say that spyware company the 'NSO Group' may be targeting phones from Huawei, LG, Samsung and others

The Google Logo in art form. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Credit: Nyshita talluri
The Google Logo in art form. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Credit: Nyshita talluri

Google has warned millions of Android phone users that their phones are vulnerable to surveillance from Israeli spyware company NSO Group.

The tech giant’s security researchers issued the alert affecting phones such as the Huawei P20, Xiaomi Redmi 5A, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, Xiaomi A1, Moto Z3, Oreo LG phones, the Samsung S7, S8 and S9 models, even Google’s own Pixel 2.

Google researcher Maddie Stone said the weakness is actively being used against targets of NSO Group. Stone said the bug provided a way for a hacker who had already found a way onto the device to get deeper access, right into the heart of the Android operating system.

NSO technology, sold to authoritarian regimes around the world, is able to remotely target and take over a smartphone. Those affected by its software include human rights campaigners, journalists, political dissidents and lawyers, including those acting against NSO in court.

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