Flaws in Apple’s iOS operating system have been discovered that make it possible to install spyware on a device simply by getting the user to click on a link.
The discovery was made after human rights lawyer Ahmed Mansoor alerted security researchers to unsolicited text messages he had received; upon investigating the issue, researchers discovered three previously unknown flaws within Apple’s code.
The texts received by Mansoor promised to reveal ‘secrets’ about people allegedly being tortured in the United Arab Emirate’s jails if he tapped the links. According to security Had he done so, his iPhone 6 would have been “jailbroken”, meaning unauthorised software could have been installed.
Security researchers say that once infected with the virus, Mansoor’s phone would have been capable of employing his iPhone’s camera and microphone to snoop on activity in the vicinity of the device, recording messages sent in mobile chat apps, and tracking his movements.
Although the cyber-attack is thought to have been a one off, orchestrated by an Israeli “cyber-war” company, similar such spyware used for other purposes could exist that could affect the general public.
If you’ve installed Apple’s latest software update, you need not worry – this addresses the problem.