Apple iPhone urgent warning over biggest hack in history which went undetected for 5 YEARS – have you been affected?
APPLE has issued an urgent warning to iPhone users after uncovering its biggest hack in history which went undetected for FIVE years.
An Israeli cyberarms firm NSO Group developed a hack by the name of Pegasus that has infiltrated devices for nearly half a decade, potentially exposing millions of users' personal information.
Apple has announced it will be alerting users who have fallen victim to the colossal cyber attack.
Pegasus was created in 2016 and auctioned off to the highest bidder – which included governments and nation-states.
The powerful software has the ability to infect both iPhone and Android devices so hackers can extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones and cameras.
After being exposed by security researchers, it was revealed that Pegasus had been attempted or successfully installed on the phones of over 50,000 people.
This included 10 prime ministers, three presidents and a king, as well as activists, rights workers, journalists and businesspeople – rather than terrorists and criminals, as NSO suggested.
The greatest spyware scandal in Apple's lifetime has left the company scrambling to notify hacked users.
The technology giant is now suing NSO to "prevent further abuse and harm to its users" and to "hold it accountable for the surveillance and targeting."
Apple is also seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services, or devices.
So, how do you know if you have been affected?
"Apple threat notifications are designed to inform and assist users who may have been targeted by state-sponsored attackers," the company said in an official statement.
They then explained that those who have been hacked will see a threat notification displayed at the top of the page after signing into appleid.apple.com.
Apple will then send an email and iMessage notification to the email addresses and phone numbers associated with the user's Apple ID.
These notifications then provide additional steps that affected users can take to help protect their devices.
But the company did warn that their strategy isn't foolproof.
Apple's statement continued: "State-sponsored attackers are very well-funded and sophisticated, and their attacks evolve over time.
"Detecting such attacks relies on threat intelligence signals that are often imperfect and incomplete.
"It’s possible that some Apple threat notifications may be false alarms, or that some attacks are not detected.
"We are unable to provide information about what causes us to issue threat notifications, as that may help state-sponsored attackers adapt their behavior to evade detection in the future."
According to Reuters, at least six activists and researchers who have been critical of Thailand's government received an alert on Wednesday.
Polish prosecutor Ewa Wrzosek, who was investigating a failed presidential election, also said she received the security warning.
Pegasus' software has continued to evolve over the years, meaning users now don't even have to interact with or click on the hack to be exposed.
It is highly likely that the majority of users will not have been affected, as Pegasus is believed to be used when targeting very specific individuals.
NSO previously suspended some countries Pegasus privileges, before the US government blocked the sale of their technology.
After officials raised concerns, they were later put on the US government's Entity list.
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