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Apple Fixes Zero-Day Bugs Used To Plant Pegasus Spyware | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Apple released security updates on Thursday that patch two zero-day exploits — meaning hacking techniques that were unknown at the time Apple found out about them — used against a member of a civil society organization in Washington, D.C., according to the researchers who found the vulnerabilities. Citizen Lab, an internet watchdog group that investigates government malware, published a short blog post explaining that last week they found a zero-click vulnerability — meaning that the hackers’ target doesn’t have to tap or click anything, such as an attachment — used to target victims with malware.

The researchers said the vulnerability was used as part of an exploit chain designed to deliver NSO Group’s malware, known as Pegasus. “The exploit chain was capable of compromising iPhones running the latest version of iOS (16.6) without any interaction from the victim,” Citizen Lab wrote. Once they found the vulnerability, the researchers reported it to Apple, which released a patch on Thursday, thanking Citizen Lab for reporting them. Based on what Citizen Lab wrote in the blog post, and the fact that Apple also patched another vulnerability and attributed its finding to the company itself, it appears Apple may have found the second vulnerability while investigating the first. Citizen Lab researcher John Scott-Railton says Apple’s Lockdown Mode would have blocked the exploits found in this case. Lockdown Mode is an opt-in feature introduced in iOS 16 that gives users the option to temporarily switch off or limit features for security purposes. According to Apple, it “should be used only if you believe you may be targeted by a highly sophisticated cyberattack, such as by a private company developing state-sponsored mercenary spyware.”

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