2 min read

US State Department iPhones Infected with Pegasus Spyware – Report

Filip TRUȚĂ

December 06, 2021

Ad One product to protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 90-day trial
US State Department iPhones Infected with Pegasus Spyware – Report

The iPhones of at least nine US State Department employees have been infected with Pegasus spyware, Reuters has been told by people familiar with the matter.

Separate sources told the news agency that “the hacks, which took place in the last several months, hit U.S. officials either based in Uganda or focused on matters concerning the East African country.”

The intrusions are said to be the widest known hacks of U.S. officials through Pegasus, the infamous spyware developed by Israel-based NSO technology.

While the sources could not identify the culprit, it is believed the threat actors were customers of NSO Group.

Apple last month hit NSO Group with a lawsuit alleging that the company has enabled extensive state-sponsored hacking of its iOS devices.

NSO maintains that it carefully selects its clients and sells Pegasus to those who use it to combat crime, including terrorism.

The Israeli firm also told Reuters that it had no indication its tools were used in the reported hacks. However, as a precaution it said it has canceled access for “the relevant” customers and plans to investigate matters further, based on the Reuters inquiry.

“If our investigation shall show these actions indeed happened with NSO's tools, such customer will be terminated permanently and legal actions will take place,” an NSO spokesperson said.

NSO will also “cooperate with any relevant government authority and present the full information we will have,” the spokesperson added.

The latest exploit leveraged by Pegasus, dubbed FORCEDENTRY, lets bad actors compromise an unpatched device with no interaction from the victim. The zero-click hack exploits a weakness in Apple’s Messages app, allowing threat actors to access the microphone, camera and other sensitive data on the device.

Apple has said that, while Pegasus continues to evolve, there is no evidence of successful remote attacks against devices running iOS 15 and current versions of the software. Customers who are not yet on the latest version are urged to update as soon as possible.

Besides suing NSO, Apple is sending threat notifications to users it believes have been targeted by state-sponsored attackers.

Last week, the National Security Council said it is “acutely concerned that commercial spyware like NSO Group’s software poses a serious counterintelligence and security risk to U.S. personnel, which is one of the reasons the Biden-Harris Administration, has placed several companies involved in the development and proliferation of these tools on the Department of Commerce’s Entity List.”

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

Abode IoT Security Camera Vulnerabilities Would Let Attackers Insert Images, Bitdefender Finds

Abode IoT Security Camera Vulnerabilities Would Let Attackers Insert Images, Bitdefender Finds

December 21, 2021

2 min read
Online Shoppers Beware, Mobile Scams Are on the Rise

Online Shoppers Beware, Mobile Scams Are on the Rise

December 17, 2021

2 min read
The Holiday Guide to Tech Support: Fixing the Family Computer

The Holiday Guide to Tech Support: Fixing the Family Computer

November 24, 2021

2 min read
Bitdefender Celebrates 20 Years of Cybersecurity Leadership

Bitdefender Celebrates 20 Years of Cybersecurity Leadership

November 04, 2021

3 min read
Bitdefender Study Reveals How Consumers Like (and Dislike) Managing Passwords

Bitdefender Study Reveals How Consumers Like (and Dislike) Managing Passwords

October 26, 2021

3 min read
What are drive-by download attacks and how do you prevent them?

What are drive-by download attacks and how do you prevent them?

October 25, 2021

2 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

Data of 500,000 already vulnerable people stolen from Red Cross Data of 500,000 already vulnerable people stolen from Red Cross
Radu CRAHMALIUC

January 20, 2022

1 min read
Printing Giant RR Donnelley Forced into Talks with Conti Ransomware Group to Stave Off Corporate Data Leak Printing Giant RR Donnelley Forced into Talks with Conti Ransomware Group to Stave Off Corporate Data Leak
Filip TRUȚĂ

January 20, 2022

1 min read
Top Five Security Tips for Mac Users in 2022 Top Five Security Tips for Mac Users in 2022
Filip TRUȚĂ

January 19, 2022

4 min read