Apple Updates iPhone Software After Alleged Failed Israeli Breach

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Apple has triggered a global upgrade of its mobile operating system in response to an Israeli company’s failed attempt to break into the iPhone of an Arab activist.

An unfamiliar espionage software was used to break into the activist’s phone, according to reports published on Thursday by the San Francisco-based Lookout smartphone security company and the internet watchdog group Citizen Lab. The attempted breach was blamed on the Israeli company NSO Group.

The spyware tried to access the phone by taking advantage of three formerly unknown weaknesses in the iPhone operating system.

Apple said it fixed the vulnerability as soon as it became aware of it.

“The threat actor has never been caught before,” Mike Murray, a researcher with Lookout, told the Associated Press. He called the program “the most sophisticated spyware package we have seen in the market.”

The NSO Group said in a statement that its mission is to provide  “authorized governments with technology that helps them combat terror and crime.” It did not acknowledge involvement in the attempted breach.



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