Apple has discovered a severe security hole that could allow attackers to take complete control of affected iPhones, iPads, and Macs Apple issued two security papers detailing the issue on Wednesday, but they were mostly ignored by the general public.
Apple claims that a hacker can acquire “full admin access” to the system because of the vulnerability. CEO of SocialProof Security, Rachel Tobac, warned that hackers might impersonate the device’s owner and install malicious software in their name if that were to happen.
Experts encourage users of the iPhone 6S and subsequent models, all iPads (5th gen and after), all iPad Pro models, the iPad Air 2, and Mac computers running macOS Monterey to upgrade their devices. The flaw also affects some models of iPods.
Apple’s papers were silent on who discovered the security flaws and where they were uncovered. All throughout, it mentioned the work of a mysterious scientist.
Companies specializing in commercial spyware, such as Israel’s NSO Group, are well-known for their ability to detect and exploit vulnerabilities in malware designed to stealthily infect, steal data from, and continuously monitor devices.
As of right now, NSO Group is on a “blacklist” maintained by the U.S. Department of Commerce. In Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, its malware has allegedly been used against journalists, dissidents, and human rights activists.
Security expert Will Strafach stated that he has not seen any technical analysis of the vulnerabilities that Apple has just addressed. Strafach claims that the company had previously come clean about similarly serious issues and noted that it knew of reports that these security weaknesses were being leveraged against it a dozen times.