iPhone: Pegasus surveillance software, which is reportedly being used to monitor journalists, lawyers and human rights activists in several countries, can circumvent even the latest security and privacy features of the iPhone. This is what an investigation carried out by the Amnesty International Security Laboratory, released this Sunday (18th), reveals.
Defying Apple’s reputation, spyware from the Israeli company NSO Group has infected Apple’s cell phone “dozens of times” in recent years, researchers reported. Among the hacked models were an iPhone 12 Pro Max and two SE generation security iPhones, all running the latest iOS updates.
One of the people who had the iPhone remotely monitored was Frenchwoman Claude Mangin, whose husband is a political activist imprisoned for more than a decade in Morocco. According to The Washington Post, her iPhone 11 is part of a list of 50,000 phone numbers hacked through Pegasus.
The publication claims that malware can collect emails, social media posts, passwords, contact lists, call logs and browsing history. It can also access photos, videos, audio recordings, voicemail and the user’s location, and remotely activate cameras and microphones.
Apple defends itself
Zero-click attacks from iMessage were the main way used to install Pegasus on the iPhone, according to investigations. The Cupertino giant has condemned cyber attacks but said they are not a threat to the “overwhelming majority” of smartphone users.
According to Apple’s head of Security Engineering and Architecture Ivan Krstic, this type of attack is “highly sophisticated, targeted and short-lived.” To the American newspaper, the expert pointed out that the company has improved its current tools and worked on new forms of protection for all customers.