Apple iPhones and iPads, despite their advanced encryption, are no more immune to spyware, it has been revealed. Interestingly, the allegation has come from Moscow-based anti-virus software creator and cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab and is aimed at US-ally Israel.
It was revealed on June 23 by IndiaLeaks that the “Pegasus” spyware which was developed by the NSO Group, an Israeli company which develops spyware can hack into iPhones and iPads.
Ahmed Mansoor, a UAE-based human rights activist and a victim of such spyware has said that an iOS version of “Pegasus” can harvests data and establish surveillance.
Altaf Halde, Managing Director, Kaspersky Lab (South Asia) has been reported as saying: “When news of the iOS version of ‘Pegasus’ got out, Apple was quick to react. The company issued an iOS security update (9.3.5) that patched the vulnerabilities.”
He added: “Google, which helped investigate the case with the Android version, took another path and notified potential ‘Pegasus’ targets directly. If you’ve updated your iOS gadgets to the latest software version and haven’t received a warning message from Google, you are probably safe and not under surveillance by Pegasus.”
When Mansoor received spear-phishing mails with malicious links, he sent the messages to security experts from Citizen Lab and they brought another cybersecurity firm, Lookout, to the investigation.
That was when the spyware was named “Pegasus”. Experts have said that it was the most sophisticated attack they’d ever seen on any endpoint.
—India Legal Bureau