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Apple has released an update after the discovery of a bug that allows hackers to break into any iPhone with a single tap.
The bug took advantage of three different weaknesses in the operating system to allow hackers complete access of iOS devices, according to the smartphone security company Lookout and internet watchdog Citizen Lab.
Both reports suggested it was an Israeli firm called NSO Group which was the source of the spyware.
Apple has urged all of those who own an iPhone to upgrade to the latest version of iOS, which contains the necessary patch.
‘The threat actor has never been caught before,’ said Mike Murray, a Lookout researcher.
Mr Murray said it was ‘the most sophisticated spyware package we have seen in the market.’
According to the reports, an iPhone could be taken under the control of a hacker with a single tap of a finger. The hacker could then read texts and emails, and track calls and contacts. It could also record sounds and collect passwords.
Citizen Lab was alerted to a problem when the human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor, from the United Arab emirates, began to receive unusual text messages containing links.
The texts claimed to contain information about the torture of UAE citizens