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Apple Releases Emergency Software Update to Counter NSO’s Pegasus Spyware

Apple released a quickly developed software update on Monday to fix a security vulnerability that allows the Pegasus spyware developed by Israel’s NSO Group to infect Apple products, including the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, without requiring the device user to take any action. The discovery of the vulnerability was made on Tuesday when researchers at Citizen Lab, a cybersecurity watchdog at the University of Toronto, discovered that an unnamed Saudi activist’s iPhone had been infected with Pegasus. The spyware is believed to have been taking data from his phone for the last six months. NSO says it sells its spyware only to governments with appropriate human rights standards and requires customers to agree to target terrorists and criminals only, despite a report in July that found NSO clients had been using the technology for years to spy on journalists, activists and dissidents. Among those reportedly tracked by the spyware was murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.