Apple says it is “aware of a report that this vulnerability may have been actively exploited.” The company published two security reports on the matter on Wednesday.
Security experts advise people to update the operating system on affected devices. We’re talking about the iPhone 6S and all newer versions, several versions of the iPad, among them all the iPad pro, and Mac computers that use the Monterey operating system.
Some iPod versions are also affected.
The company’s explanation is that a hacker can gain full administrator access to the devices, and thus control the device as they wish.
Rachel Tobak, who heads the data security firm Socialproof Security, says the people who need to be especially vigilant when updating their software are “people in the public eye,” such as activists or journalists, who could be targets for sophisticated government spying.
The Israeli NSO Group is among the companies known for identifying and exploiting such vulnerabilities. The company’s Pegasus software silently infects phones and other communication tools and spies on owners, among other things, through access to the camera and microphone.
There have been previous reports of Pegasus being used against politicians, activists, and journalists in a number of countries. According to Amnesty International, eleven governments have purchased the software.
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