Apple fixes flaw exploited by Israeli agency’s Pegasus spyware and adware

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The flaw, disclosed Monday by Citizen Lab, allowed a hacker utilizing NSO’s malware Pegasus to achieve entry to a tool owned by a Saudi activist, in keeping with safety researchers.

By Bloomberg

Apple Inc. stated it patched a safety flaw within the Messages app throughout all of its main gadgets that safety researchers say was actively exploited by Israel-based NSO Group.

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The flaw, disclosed Monday by Citizen Lab, allowed a hacker utilizing NSO’s malware Pegasus to achieve entry to a tool owned by a Saudi activist, in keeping with safety researchers. Apple stated the flaw might be exploited if a person on a susceptible gadget obtained a “maliciously crafted” PDF file.

The malware didn’t require victims to interact with the file. Receiving it was sufficient to contaminate their gadgets, in keeping with a report launched by Citizen Lab, a cyber-research unit of the University of Toronto.

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“Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited,” the iPhone maker stated on its web site.

Apple is patching the bug on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch by way of iOS 14.8, iPadOS 14.8, macOS 11.6 and watchOS 7.6.2 software program updates. The software program releases got here the day earlier than Apple’s Sept. 14 product launch occasion, which can doubtless spur the discharge of iOS 15, Apple’s subsequent main software program replace that can include further safety protections.

“NSO Group will continue to provide intelligence and law enforcement agencies around the world with life saving technologies to fight terror and crime,” the corporate stated in an announcement.

The NSO Group has been the topic of repeated criticism by Citizen Lab and different organizations after its spyware and adware has been found on the telephones of activists and journalists crucial of repressive regimes. NSO Group has insisted that the spyware and adware is meant for use to combat terrorism and crime, to not help in human rights abuses.

Apple shares have been little modified in prolonged buying and selling after closing at $149.55 in New York.

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