Apple have issued a global update of its mobile operating system after a piece of malware was discovered with the ability to hack every iPhone in the world.
Apple have already sent out a patch with the latest iOS update and is advising everyone to download and install it immediately.
“We were made aware of this vulnerability and immediately fixed it with iOS 9.3.5. We advise all of our customers to always download the latest version of iOS to protect themselves against potential security exploits,” an Apple spokesman told AP.
The hackers from NSO Group, a private cyberarms dealer in Israel who sell hacking services to governments so they can spy on journalists and dissidents, developed the malware from huge security holes in the iPhone software.
The malware can read text messages and emails, track calls and access contacts. It can even record sounds, collect passwords and trace the location of the phone user.
Security researcher Mike Murray explained the malware. “We realised that we were looking at something that no one had ever seen in the wild before,” Murray said. “Literally a click on a link to jailbreak an iPhone in one step. One of the most sophisticated pieces of cyberespionage software we’ve ever seen.”
“It basically steals all the information on your phone, it intercepts every call, it intercepts every text message, it steals all the emails, the contacts, the FaceTime calls,” he said.
“It also basically backdoors every communications mechanism you have on the phone,”
“It steals all the information in the Gmail app, all the Facebook messages, all the Facebook information, your Facebook contacts, everything from Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, Telegram — you name it.”
The malware was used to target a United Arab Emirates human rights activist, Ahmed Mansoor. Mansoor received a text message claiming to have details about state torture with a link from an unknown number.
While malware and surveillance companies aren’t new, the ability to completely takeover a supposedly secure device like the iPhone is remarkable.
To update your iPhone go to Settings>General>Software Update.
Again, this highlights the need for your data to be secure and to have a Disaster Recovery Plan in place if everything goes wrong. As demonstrated by this latest malware, it doesn’t take much for an entire device to be compromised, and if it’s being used for business purposes your entire business is at risk.