Apple is updating its iOS software after internet security experts discovered that a prominent Arab activist's iPhone was being targeted.
Reports published Thursday by the San Francisco-based internet security firm Lookout and internet watchdog group Citizen Lab detail how special spyware can take advantage of three previously unknown vulnerabilities in Apple's mobile software. The reports point to NSO Group, an Israeli company that sells software to invisibly track a mobile phone, as the developer of the spyware.
The NSO Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apple has responded by releasing an updated version of its mobile software, iOS 9 .3.5. iPhone users can install the update by going to Settings/General/Software Update.
The tech giant said in a statement Thursday that it fixed the vulnerability immediately after learning about it. "We advise all of our customers to always download the latest version of iOS to protect themselves against potential security exploits," the company said.
The vulnerability was discovered around August 10 after Ahmed Mansoor, a renowned human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates, began receiving strange texts. If he'd clicked an included link, malware that can intercept calls, texts and email could have been installed on his phone.