APPLE have been forced to issue a global alert to all iPhone users after its mobile operation system (IOS) has fallen victim to an established private cyberarms dealer finding a way to hack every iPhone in the world.
Hackers from the NSO Group have developed a very sophisticated piece of malware that exploit three unknown vulnerabilities Apple’s iOS.
After learning of the hack, Apple since developed a patch with its latest iOS update, and is now reaching out to all iPhone owners and advising them to download it immediately!
“We were made aware of this vulnerability and immediately fixed it with iOS 9.3.5. We advise all of our customers to always download the latest version of iOS to protect themselves against potential security exploits,” a spokesman told AP.
New joint reports from Citizen Lab and mobile security company Lookout said this was a world first for an attack of this kind in the wild.
“Literally a click on a link to jailbreak an iPhone in one step. [It is] one of the most sophisticated pieces of cyberespionage software we’ve ever seen.” Mike Murray from Lookout said.
Mr Murray said the malware, codenamed Pegasus, gave attackers full control of the smartphone.
“It basically steals all the information on your phone, it intercepts every call, it intercepts every text message, it steals all the emails, the contacts, the FaceTime calls,” he said.
“It also basically backdoors every communications mechanism you have on the phone,”
“It steals all the information in the Gmail app, all the Facebook messages, all the Facebook information, your Facebook contacts, everything from Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, Telegram — you name it.”
Since being established in 2010, NSO has become notorious for selling its sophisticated malware to governments.
“This is the first time any security researchers, as far as any of us are aware, have ever gotten a copy of NSO Group’s spyware and been able to reverse engineer it,” Mr Murray told Wired.
“They are a really sophisticated threat actor and the software they have reflects that. They are incredibly committed to stealth.”
While NSO Group won’t be able to use this particular attack anymore on updated iPhones, it’s likely another won’t be far behind.