Apple released this Monday (13) an update that fixes a flaw in its operating system that researchers say was exploited by the spyware Pegasus from an Israeli company.
The NSO Group is at the center of the storm after an international press investigation determined that its Pegasus software was used to spy on the phones of human rights activists, journalists and even heads of state.
Cybersecurity and Apple experts on Monday urged owners of iPhones and other iOS-based devices to install the latest software update.
Researchers at Citizen Lab, a cyber surveillance organization in Canada, found the problem by analyzing the phone of a Saudi activist who had been infected with the NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware.
“We determined that mercenary spyware company NSO Group used the vulnerability to remotely exploit and infect the latest Apple devices with Pegasus spyware,” wrote Citizen Lab.
The lab added that in March it examined the activist’s phone and determined that it had been hacked with the Pegasus spy program through iMessage text messaging software.
“Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited,” noted the tech giant in a post about the security update.
Citizen Lab said it believed the attack was the work of the NSO Group.
“Selling technology to governments that will use it recklessly, in violation of international human rights law, ultimately facilitates the discovery of spyware by surveillance organizations, as we and others have repeatedly demonstrated and as was the case again this time.” concluded.