Not so long after Apple dropped iOS 9.3.4 on us to patch the PPHelper jailbreak, they released iOS 9.3.5 download, presumed to be more exploit patches. It has now come to light that the new update was released to patch up some significant security issues in the iOS, including those that were being used to gain or expose secure parts of a user’s device, such as contacts, messages, emails and information about phone calls.
Image : Exploit Patched on iOS
Backdoor Exploit :
Apple doesn’t tend to be vocal about the exploits they are patching until they have fully investigated the issues and released the patch and it has now been revealed that this issue was being used as a way of tracking journalists, amongst other people. It was discovered that an Israeli company called NSO Group were entirely responsible for the issues and are a company that sells tracking software for mobile devices. Their software was able to read emails, text messages, track contacts and phone calls and could even be used to record sound, gather in passwords and trace the location of the person using the device.
Image : The two suspicious text messages which contained links to the NSO Group’s spyware
According to the report issued [ Apple.com – ext link], Apple managed to patch the problem within 10 days of it being found and released iOS 9.3.5 as a way of addressing the entire issue. More information was discovered about NSO group and it transpires that, set up in 2010, the company software has been used by government bodies as a way of tracking mobile devices and accessing what should be secure information on them. NSO do not own a website and keep their software under a strong guard, but certain information has been discovered, including a $120 million sale to a venture capital firm in the US in 2014 followed by a valuation reported to be in the region of $1 billion. Their software, called Pegasus, has been designed to infect an iPhone quietly and steal the data inside it as well as intercepting communications.
Latest Update :
According to the report from Vice News [ext link], this has been available since 2007 and that means that any iPhone from the iPhone 5 onwards has the potential to have been infected with Pegasus. iOS 9.3.5 is only for any iOS device on iOS 9 and Apple is not indicating at this stage if any of the older devices are protected or not. However, we do know that iOS 10 download, which is due out in the next few weeks, also contains that patch so anybody that updates will be protected.
What are your thoughts on this ? And are you prepared to risk your data for the sake of hanging on to a jailbreak or will you be updating to iOS 9.3.5 ? Tell us what you think in the comments box below and, to stay updated with the latest in news, Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook.