iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Todd Haselton | CNBC
Apple iPhones can be compromised and their sensitive data stolen through hacking software that doesn’t require the phone’s owner to click on a link, according to a report by Amnesty International published on Sunday.
Amnesty International said it discovered iPhones belonging to journalists and human rights lawyers had been infected with NSO Group’s Pegasus malware that can provide the attacker access to messages, emails and the phone’s microphone and camera.
The revelation suggests governments using NSO Group software have been able to successfully hack iPhones to spy on user data using methods unknown to Apple, and that even keeping an iPhone up-to-date cannot stop a dedicated attacker who’s using expensive and secretive spy software.
The nature of the attacks also suggests changing user behavior, such as avoiding clicking on unknown or phishing links in messages, may not protect iPhone users against NSO’s software. Past versions of Pegasus required the user to click a malicious link in a message, Amnesty International said.
NSO Group is an Israeli firm that says it sells to vetted government agencies and law enforcement to prevent terrorism, car explosions and to break up sex and drug trafficking rings.
Amnesty International found evidence of a hack in an iPhone 12, the newest iPhone model, running iOS 14.6, which was the most current software before Monday. Apple updated its software to iOS 14.7 on Monday but has not…