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Apple releases an emergency update to prevent Pegasus spying on iPhones

2021-09-14T13:59:17.633Z

The technology company has developed a protection against the spy program of the Israeli cybersecurity company NSO Group that infiltrated the phone of Macron or López Obrador, among others



Apple released an emergency update to its iOS, MacOS and WatchOS operating system on Monday to correct a security flaw detected in iPhones, Macs and Apple Watches that allows spyware to be installed.

As

The New York Times

advanced last night

,

the patch aims to remedy the vulnerability exploited by the Israeli cyber espionage company NSO Group, known for its Pegasus program, which sneaked onto the mobiles of journalists, activists and politicians, including the French President, Emmanuel Macron, or his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

More information

  • From iPhone 13s to new AirPods: what to expect from this afternoon's Apple event

  • "Move your ass and go talk in person": why is not even the WhatsApp of the narcos safe

  • This is how Pegasus works, the world's most famous spy software

The Cupertino multinational has worked urgently to respond to a report published by Citizen Lab, a laboratory at the University of Toronto specialized in cybersecurity and privacy, according to which the NSO Group has been infecting iPhone phones and other Apple devices since February.

The clue was given by a Saudi activist.

Pegasus is considered one of the most advanced spy programs in the world.

It is installed on the phone silently through the iMessage messaging system, present in all iPhones, and allows whoever operates the program to turn on the camera and microphone of the mobile, record messages, emails and voice notes that are emitted from the device, even if they are end-to-end encrypted.

NSO Group assures that it sells its products to governments and official agencies, although many activists regret that the lack of transparency of the Israeli company makes it impossible to verify that they have not also placed it, for example, to criminal organizations.

To update the operating system on an iPhone, the user must go to

Settings / General / Update

and there download the iOS 14.8 version.

Spy history

In July, Le Monde

and

The Guardian

published an investigation together with other international media that showed that almost fifty governments, including several authoritarians, have used Pegasus to control tens of thousands of potential targets around the world. The investigation is based on the leak of a list of 50,000 phone numbers that would have been monitored since 2016 by NSO clients. Among the states that used the Israeli company's program, according to the revelations, are Mexico, Hungary, Morocco, India, Saudi Arabia, Rwanda and Azerbaijan.

Among the 180 journalists included in the list of potential targets are, according to

The Guardian

, professionals from the main international media, as well as people close to Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi opponent killed in Istanbul in 2018 and professionals in Azerbaijan, Hungary or India.

It is also known that the Pegasus program was used in Spain in the

proces

in Catalonia.

The president of the Parlament and second Catalan authority, Roger Torrent, and

exconseller

Ernest Maragall -both of ERC- were objectives of this

malware

.

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Source: elparis

All tech articles on 2021-09-14

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