Apple rushes to block ‘zero-click’ iPhone spyware

Apple has issued a software patch to block so-called “zero-click” spyware that could infect iPhones and iPads.

Identified researchers identified the flaw, which allows hackers access devices through iMessage service even if users do not click on a link or file.

This problem affects all of the technology giant’s operating systems, said the researchers.

The technology giant said it issued the security update in a response to a “maliciously crafted pdf file.

University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, the first to highlight the issue, had previously found evidence of zero-click spyware, but “this is the first one where the exploit has been captured so we can find out how it works,” said researcher Bill Marczak.

The researchers said that the previously unknown vulnerability affected all major Apple devices, including iPhones, Macs and Apple Watches.

Citizen Lab further said the security issue was exploited to plant spyware on a Saudi activist’s iPhone, adding that it had high confidence that the Israeli hacker-for-hire firm, NSO Group, was behind that attack.

In a statement, NSO did not confirm or deny that it was behind the spyware, saying only that it would “continue to provide intelligence and law enforcement agencies around the world with life-saving technologies to fight terror and crime”.

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