Apple boosts iPhone security after powerful spyware targets an activist
A botched attempt to break into an activist's iPhone using hitherto unknown espionage software has triggered a global upgrade of Apple's mobile operating system, researchers said Aug 25. The spyware took advantage of three previously undisclosed weaknesses in Apple's mobile operating system to take control of iPhone devices, according to reports published by the San Francisco-based Lookout smartphone security company and Internet watchdog group Citizen Lab.
Both reports pointed to the NSO Group, an Israeli company with a reputation for flying under the radar, as the author of the spyware. Such a compromise would give hackers full control over the phone, enabling them to eavesdrop on calls, harvest messages, activate cameras and microphones and drain the device of its personal data. Apple said it fixed the vulnerability immediately after learning about it, but the security hole may have gone unpatched had it not been for the wariness of a human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates. The malware was used to target journalists and activists in some cases, according to Citizen Lab.
Apple boosts iPhone security after powerful spyware targets an activist This malware sold to governments could help them spy on iPhones, researchers say (Washington Post) iPhone vulnerability used to target journalists, aid workers (CNN)