According to Researchers Report, New Vulnerability in Apple Devices Leads to Spyware Infection

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Researchers from the digital watchdog group Citizen Lab have disclosed the discovery of a spyware exploit associated with the Israeli company NSO, which leveraged a newly identified vulnerability in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices. According to their findings, while examining the Apple device of an employee affiliated with a Washington-based civil society organization last week, Citizen Lab identified that the vulnerability had been exploited to infiltrate the device with NSO’s Pegasus spyware.

Bill Marczak, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab based at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, stated, “We attribute the exploit to NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware with high confidence, based on forensics we have from the target device.” He further explained that the attacker’s error during the installation process led to the discovery of the spyware by Citizen Lab.

Citizen Lab reported that Apple confirmed the effectiveness of its high-security feature, “Lockdown Mode,” in thwarting this specific attack. John Scott-Railton, another senior researcher at Citizen Lab, emphasized the role of civil society in serving as an early warning system for detecting highly sophisticated cyberattacks.

Citizen Lab refrained from providing additional information about the affected individual or organization. The vulnerability allowed for the compromise of iPhones running the latest iOS version (16.6) without requiring any interaction from the device owner. Apple promptly addressed this issue with a new update.

Following Citizen Lab’s disclosure, Apple released updates for its devices to address the identified flaws. An Apple spokesperson declined to provide further comment, but Citizen Lab encouraged consumers to promptly update their Apple devices.

In response to the allegations, NSO issued a statement, saying, “We are unable to respond to any allegations that do not include any supporting research.” It’s worth noting that the U.S. government blacklisted the Israeli firm in 2021 due to alleged abuses, including the surveillance of government officials and journalists.

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