Apple has released a major software update due to a vulnerability in the operating system iOS. Hackers could use Pegasus spyware to access iMessage messaging app, even if users do not click on a link or file, research firm Citizen Lab discovered.
According to Citizen Lab, the vulnerability is being exploited by the Israeli cyber espionage company NSO Group, which can use Pegasus spyware to take over the messaging app on iPhones, Mac computers and Apple Watches.
Citizen Lab discovered that a Saudi activist’s iPhone had been infected with this spyware for more than half a year. According to the research company, users usually fail to notice that they have been hacked, because the devices become infected without users clicking on fraudulent links.
The software could, among other things, turn on a user’s camera and microphone. It could also send messages.
“The spyware can do anything an iPhone user can do on his device and more,” said a researcher at Citizen Lab.
However, according to security experts, most Apple users do not need to worry, as such attacks are usually highly targeted. However, Apple calls on users to perform the software update as soon as possible.
NSO neither confirms nor denies being behind the spyware. “We will continue to intelligence agencies around the world with life-saving technologies to create terror and crime“, the company said in a statement.