Foreign researchers said that the special Pegasus software quite easily and on a stable basis allows third parties to hack devices running on the iOS 14.6 operating system (older versions, of course, are also amenable to hacking). It is worth clarifying an important detail – in order to hack a device and gain access to all data on a smartphone, attackers do not need to use links that the user must follow, since everything is much simpler. Hackers only need to send a potential victim a message in iMessage with a special text in order to take over the data on the device.
The researchers said that for hacking, the attackers are using some kind of zero-day vulnerability, which even Apple developers do not know about at the moment. In addition, it is quite difficult to detect and study, since the hacking method does not record any data in the device’s memory – when the smartphone is restarted, the traces of the hacking disappear, so it is almost impossible to investigate the method in any way. And if necessary, the attackers will send the message again to gain access to the information they need. At the same time, if you disable iMessage in the iPhone settings, then this hacking method will not work.
In addition, journalists from seventeen major publications, including The Washington Post and The Guardian, published articles that this software was created by the Israeli company NSO Group to fight crime. After jailbreaking a device, you can record conversations, remotely activate the microphone, track the location of the device, download any information from memory, and so on. According to journalists, the government of many large countries uses this software, but no official information or comments on this issue have yet been received.