Apple has shot out an urgent software update for all devices in response to an alarming discovery of spyware made by security researchers. If you’re anything like me and have been hitting ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’ on your laptop’s update for the last six months, trust me on this one – update everything now.
Researchers at Citizen Lab found a bug in the iMessages of an anonymous Saudi activist, which was linked back to a form of spyware called Pegasus. The Verge described it as spyware developed by the Israeli company NSO Group, specifically for government agencies “that can’t be traced back to the government using it” and lets governments spy on its citizens.
So why is it important for all of us – people who are definitely not people of interest – to update our iPhones, laptops, iPads and Apple watches? Because this particular spyware has been identified as a zero-click variety that’s targeting iMessage. It means you don’t even have to interact with a suss message or link for it to already be working away.
In its re-analysis of the iPhone infected with the group’s Pegasus spyware, the Citizen Lab team found weird coding in the messaging attachments data. They realised that this was probably pinged to the device seconds before it was hacked, and it came in the form of what looked like .gif files.
After the new discovery earlier this week, Citizen Lab alerted Apple, which confirmed the exploit against iOS and MacOS, and immediately went to work on creating a patch to safeguard all of its products. You can literally download it right now to your phone, laptop, computer, watch – anything that runs those operating systems.
So those of us who simply love to put off any kind of system update or important upgrade for months at a time and then wonder why they fuck our laptops are running at a snail’s pace: please get it done tonight.
Just download and install it while you’re sitting on the couch watching TV or before you go to bed.
Trust me on this one, yeah?