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Apple issues software update after Israeli spyware circulates Middle East

Apple reported that iPhone sales dropped year-over-year for the first time, slipping to 51.19 million in the recently ended quarter, on April 26, 2016
Josh Edelson (AFP/File)
A human rights defender from the UAE is said to have been the target of the spyware

Apple is updating its iPhone software after an activist in the Middle East was targeted with vigorous spyware, the Associated Press reports.

According the report, the software is able to completely take over a user's phone via three previously undisclosed weaknesses in the Apple operating system.

Apple released a statement in which it said that as soon as the company learned of the weaknesses they were fixed, said AP.

San Francisco based mobile security firm Lookout, along with internet watchdog group Citizen Lab, detailed the vulnerabilities in a report published on it's website.

They dubbed the security flaws "Trident" and said that they are targeted by a spyware product called Pegasus.

During its investigation, Citizen Lab found that they spyware was developed by the Israeli-based NSO Group, which "sells Pegasus, a government-exclusive 'lawful intercept' spyware product" said their report. In 2010 NSO Group was acquired by Francisco Partners Management in the US.

Ahmed Mansoor, a human rights defender from the UAE is said to have been the target of the spyware. According to Citizen Lab, this is the third time that Mansoor has been targeted by spyware.

This is a developing story

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