Researchers from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab stated the software exploit has been in use since February and has been used to deploy Pegasus, the spyware made by Israeli agency NSO Group that has allegedly been used to surveil journalists and human rights advocates in a number of nations.
Apple credited the Citizen Lab researchers for locating the vulnerability.
“Attacks like the ones described are highly sophisticated, cost millions of dollars to develop, often have a short shelf life, and are used to target specific individuals,” Ivan Krstić, head of Apple Security Engineering and Architecture, stated in a press release.
Krstić stated Apple quickly addressed the difficulty with a software repair and that the vulnerability is “not a threat to the overwhelming majority of our users.”
Still, safety consultants inspired customers to update their cell units for cover.
In a press release, NSO Group didn’t address the allegations, solely saying, “NSO Group will continue to provide intelligence and law enforcement agencies around the world with life saving technologies to fight terror and crime.”
The agency has beforehand stated its software is just bought to vetted prospects for counterterrorism and regulation enforcement functions.
Researchers, nevertheless, say they’ve discovered a number of circumstances during which the spyware was deployed on dissidents or journalists. In 2019, Citizen Lab analysts alleged that Pegasus was used on the cell phone of the spouse of a slain Mexican journalist.