The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has advised Apple users to update their devices against spyware that affects the products without any user action.
The development comes after Citizen Lab, a Canadian internet security watchdog, discovered that malware identified as forcedentry “targets Apple’s image rendering library, and is effective against Apple iOS, macOS and WatchOS devices.”
The new study had revealed that the malware, developed by NSO Group, an Israeli surveillance firm, could breach Apple’s security system.
In a statement on Wednesday, Hadiza Umar, NITDA’s spokesman, said Apple users must ensure they update their devices as stipulated by the tech giant.
Umar also said the measure is imperative considering the fact that the said spyware could compromise the devices of Apple users without the victim’s knowledge.
“A spyware called Pegasus gets deployed into a targeted device, turns on the camera and microphone to record messages, texts, emails, and calls, even if sent via encrypted messaging apps,” she said.
“Once the attacker has control of the device, the attacker compromises the user’s credentials, gains access to the entire infrastructure, identifies sensitive assets, and moves laterally within the network.”
Umar warned that users should immediately update their iOS devices with the latest patches iOS 14.8, which is available for free from Apple, saying iOS versions 14.4 and 14.6 are majorly vulnerable to the spyware.
“Plug your device into power and connect to the internet with Wi-fi, go to Settings: general, then tap software update,” she said.
“Tap Install Now, if you see the download and install instead, tap it to download the update, enter your passcode, then tap Install Now.
“After the install process begins, a message that says ‘Verifying Update’ appears, wait for it to finish.
“After verification is complete, your device will restart the Apple logo and a small progress bar in the centre of the screen, when installation is complete, you can unlock and use your iPhone again as usual.”
Umar said installing patches on the Apple watch requires opening the Apple Watch app on the user’s iPhone, tapping My Watch, going to general software update, and then clicking download and install.
She added that for users to update a macOS from the Apple menu on the corner of their screen, they should click system preferences, software update, and then tap update now or upgrade now.
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