iOS 9.3.5 quickly released to block Pegasus spyware

Apple has set itself up as one of the biggest advocates of privacy and security against government-sanctioned espionage, which is probably why it immediately jumped into action to plug up a serious security hole merely 10 days after it was reported. Just weeks after it rolled out iOS 9.3.4, Apple has issued a critical iOS 9.3.5 update in an attempt to block a malware nicknamed "Pegasus" which, in just one tap, could gain access to the iPhones and data of "high-value targets", which is usually another term for political targets like dissidents and activists.

Mobile malware has grown to be more than just a nuisance to become frightening and even harmful weapons in the hands of the very wrong people. This latest scare comes from a Pegasus malware developed by a certain NSO Group, an Israeli company that prides itself in extremely invisible "ghost" software that can spy on a user's text messages, emails, calls, and contacts. Of course, without the user knowing it.

The way Pegasus compromises as a device is just as frightening. With a single tap on a link, Pegasus can jailbreak a target iPhone. Pangu and other iOS jailbreakers would probably be green with envy at how NSO accomplishes this task. Of course, Apple was none too happy about it.

The speed that Apple worked to plug up this security hole is perhaps unprecedented and quite telling of the seriousness of the exploit as well as Apple's stance against such actions. Writers of spyware software such as this know full well that their primary, and most lucrative, customers are those with political agendas. The very agendas that Apple has been working hard against, even to the point of being accused of enabling terrorists and criminals.

Given the severity of the security issue, users are advised to update to iOS 9.3.5 as soon as possible. Of course, that applies whether or not you consider yourself to be a "high-value target".


VIA: New York Times