Apple released a significant security update for iPhones and iPads to patch newly discovered security vulnerabilities in the devices’ system software, The Associated Press reported.
The issue was discovered by researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, who said the software flaw was being “actively exploited” to deliver the Pegasus software, which was developed and sold by the Israeli company NSO Group.
Pegasus is typically used to target dissidents, journalists and political opponents, so ordinary users likely have little to fear. Citizen Lab recommended that all users should “immediately" update their devices regardless.
NSO has come under fire over the Pegasus spyware and its use around the world. In one case, the Finnish foreign ministry said it had detected Pegasus in several phones used by its diplomats abroad.
The Finnish announcement followed a report in The New York Times which said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu worked to ensure that Saudi Arabia would be able to use the Pegasus software, around the time that the Abraham Accords were signed with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The US Commerce Department has blacklisted NSO Group, prohibiting it from using American technology in its operations.
Apple has previously sued the Israeli firm, seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using Apple software, services, or devices.
In June, the widow of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi filed a lawsuit against NGO Group, saying surveillance software built by the Israeli company was used to spy on her messages in the months leading up to her husband's death.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)