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New Apple Zero-Days Exploited to Target Egyptian ex-MP with Predator Spyware

New Apple Zero-Days Exploited to Target Egyptian ex-MP with Predator Spyware
Sep 23, 2023 Zero Day / Vulnerability
The  three zero-day flaws  addressed by Apple on September 21, 2023, were leveraged as part of an iPhone exploit chain in an attempt to deliver a spyware strain called  Predator  targeting former Egyptian member of parliament Ahmed Eltantawy between May and September 2023. "The targeting took place after Eltantawy publicly  stated his plans  to run for President in the 2024 Egyptian elections," the Citizen Lab  said , attributing the attack with high confidence to the Egyptian government owing to it being a known customer of the commercial spying tool. According to a joint investigation conducted by the Canadian interdisciplinary laboratory and Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG), the mercenary surveillance tool is said to have been delivered via links sent on SMS and WhatsApp. "In August and September 2023, Eltantawy's Vodafone Egypt mobile connection was persistently selected for targeting via network injection; when Eltantawy visited certain websites not

NSO Group Used 3 Zero-Click iPhone Exploits Against Human Rights Defenders

NSO Group Used 3 Zero-Click iPhone Exploits Against Human Rights Defenders
Apr 20, 2023 Zero-Day / Spyware
Israeli spyware maker NSO Group deployed at least three novel "zero-click" exploits against iPhones in 2022 to infiltrate defenses erected by Apple and deploy Pegasus, according to the latest findings from Citizen Lab. "NSO Group customers widely deployed at least three iOS 15 and iOS 16 zero-click exploit chains against civil society targets around the world," the interdisciplinary laboratory based at the University of Toronto  said . NSO Group is the manufacturer of  Pegasus , a sophisticated cyber weapon that's capable of extracting sensitive information stored in a device – e.g., messages, locations, photos, and call logs, among others — in real-time. It's typically delivered to targeted iPhones using zero-click and/or zero-day exploits. While it has been pitched as a tool for law enforcement agencies to combat serious crimes such as child sexual abuse and terrorism, it has also been deployed illegally by authoritarian governments to spy on human rig

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Apple Issues Updates for Older Devices to Fix Actively Exploited Vulnerability

Apple Issues Updates for Older Devices to Fix Actively Exploited Vulnerability
Jan 24, 2023 Mobile Security / 0-Day Attack
Apple has backported fixes for a recently disclosed critical security flaw affecting older devices, citing evidence of active exploitation. The issue, tracked as  CVE-2022-42856 , is a type confusion vulnerability in the WebKit browser engine that could result in arbitrary code execution when processing maliciously crafted web content. While it was originally addressed by the company on November 30, 2022, as part of iOS 16.1.2 update, the patch was subsequently expanded to a broader set of Apple devices with iOS 15.7.2, iPadOS 15.7.2, macOS Ventura 13.1, tvOS 16.2, and Safari 16.2. "Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited against versions of iOS released before iOS 15.1," the iPhone maker  said  in an advisory published Monday. To that end, the latest update, iOS 12.5.7, is available for iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, and iPod touch (6th generation). Clément Lecigne of Google's Threat Anal

Beware! Connecting to This Wireless Network Can Break Your iPhone's Wi-Fi Feature

Beware! Connecting to This Wireless Network Can Break Your iPhone's Wi-Fi Feature
Jun 21, 2021
A wireless network naming bug has been discovered in Apple's iOS operating system that effectively disables an iPhone's ability to connect to a Wi-Fi network. The issue was spotted by security researcher  Carl Schou , who found that the phone's Wi-Fi functionality gets permanently disabled after joining a Wi-Fi network with the unusual name " %p%s%s%s%s%n " even after rebooting the phone or changing the network's name (i.e., service set identifier or SSID). The bug could have serious implications in that bad actors could exploit the issue to plant fraudulent Wi-Fi hotspots with the name in question to break the device's wireless networking features. After joining my personal WiFi with the SSID "%p%s%s%s%s%n", my iPhone permanently disabled it's WiFi functionality. Neither rebooting nor changing SSID fixes it :~) pic.twitter.com/2eue90JFu3 — Carl Schou (@vm_call) June 18, 2021 The issue stems from a  string formatting  bug in the manner iOS parses th

Google Hacker Details Zero-Click 'Wormable' Wi-Fi Exploit to Hack iPhones

Google Hacker Details Zero-Click 'Wormable' Wi-Fi Exploit to Hack iPhones
Dec 02, 2020
Google Project Zero white-hat hacker Ian Beer on Tuesday disclosed details of a now-patched critical "wormable" iOS bug that could have made it possible for a remote attacker to gain complete control of any device in the vicinity over Wi-Fi. The exploit makes it possible to "view all the photos, read all the email, copy all the private messages and monitor everything which happens on [the device] in real-time,"  said  Beer in a lengthy blog post detailing his six-month-long efforts into building a proof-of-concept single-handedly. The  flaw  (tracked as  CVE-2020-3843 ) was addressed by Apple in a series of security updates pushed as part of  iOS 13.3.1 ,  macOS Catalina 10.15.3 , and  watchOS 5.3.7  earlier this year. "A remote attacker may be able to cause unexpected system termination or corrupt kernel memory," the iPhone maker noted in its advisory, adding the "memory corruption issue was addressed with improved input validation." The v

New Privacy Features Added to the Upcoming Apple iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur

New Privacy Features Added to the Upcoming Apple iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur
Jun 23, 2020
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. No, we're not talking about 'coronavirus,' the current global pandemic because of which Apple—for the very first time in history—organized its Worldwide Developer Conference ( WWDC ) virtually. Here we're talking about a world in which we are all connected and constantly sharing data, also known as the new oil, with something called "privacy" for which we still have to fight on several fronts together. During WWDC 2020 on Monday, the world's most valuable company announced the next versions of its operating systems — iOS 14 for iPhones, iPadOS 14 for iPads, watchOS 7 for Apple Watches, and macOS Big Sur for MacBooks — with new features and enhancements. What's important is that the company also highlighted a few new security and privacy features that have been added to the upcoming iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur systems, categorically aiming to help users: better control which apps installed

How Just Visiting A Site Could Have Hacked Your iPhone or MacBook Camera

How Just Visiting A Site Could Have Hacked Your iPhone or MacBook Camera
Apr 03, 2020
If you use an Apple iPhone or a MacBook, we have a piece of alarming news for you. Turns out merely visiting a website — not just malicious but also legitimate sites unknowingly loading malicious ads as well — using Safari browser could have let remote attackers secretly access your device's camera, microphone, or location, and in some cases, saved passwords as well. Apple recently paid a $75,000 bounty reward to an ethical hacker, Ryan Pickren , who practically demonstrated the hack and helped the company patch a total of seven new vulnerabilities before any real attacker could take advantage of them. The fixes were issued in a series of updates to Safari spanning versions 13.0.5 (released January 28, 2020) and Safari 13.1 (published March 24, 2020). "If the malicious website wanted camera access, all it had to do was masquerade as a trusted video-conferencing website such as Skype or Zoom," Pickren said. When chained together, three of the reported Safari

Hackers Used Local News Sites to Install Spyware On iPhones

Hackers Used Local News Sites to Install Spyware On iPhones
Mar 27, 2020
A newly discovered watering-hole campaign is targeting Apple iPhone users in Hong Kong by using malicious website links as a lure to install spyware on the devices. According to research published by Trend Micro and Kaspersky , the " Operation Poisoned News " attack leverages a remote iOS exploit chain to deploy a feature-rich implant called 'LightSpy' through links to local news websites, which when clicked, executes the malware payload and allows an interloper to exfiltrate sensitive data from the affected device and even take full control. Watering-hole attacks typically let a bad actor compromise a specific group of end-users by infecting websites that they are known to visit, with an intention to gain access to the victim's device and load it with malware. The APT group, dubbed "TwoSail Junk" by Kaspersky, is said to be leveraging vulnerabilities present in iOS 12.1 and 12.2 spanning all models from iPhone 6 to the iPhone X, with the attac

You Can Now Run Android on an iPhone With 'Project Sandcastle'

You Can Now Run Android on an iPhone With 'Project Sandcastle'
Mar 05, 2020
Not happy with your expensive iPhone and wondered if it's possible to run any other operating system on your iPhone, maybe, how to install Android on an iPhone or Linux for iPhones? Android phones can be rooted, and iPhones can be jailbroken to unlock new features, but so far, it's been close to impossible to get Android running on iPhones, given the mobile device hardware constraints and software limitations. However, it's now possible to smoothly run Android on an iPhone—thanks to a new initiative, dubbed Project Sandcastle . Undertaken by cybersecurity startup Corellium , Project Sandcastle is the consequence of a 13-year-long developmental effort to port Android to iOS and as well as demonstrate that Apple's much-vaunted security barriers can indeed be compromised. "Where sandboxes set limits and boundaries, sandcastles provide an opportunity to create something new from the limitless bounds of your imagination," the project website says. "T

Use iPhone as Physical Security Key to Protect Your Google Accounts

Use iPhone as Physical Security Key to Protect Your Google Accounts
Jan 16, 2020
Great news for iOS users! You can now use your iPhone or iPad, running iOS 10 or later, as a physical security key for securely logging into your Google account as part of the Advanced Protection Program for two-factor authentication. Android users have had this feature on their smartphones since last year, but now Apple product owners can also use this advanced, phishing-resistant form of authentication as an alternative to a physical security key. Adding extra security later of two-step authentication is one of the more essential steps you can take to secure your online accounts, which makes it harder for attackers to log in to your account, especially when they steal your password. "According to a study we [Google] released last year, people who exclusively used security keys to sign into their accounts never fell victim to targeted phishing attacks," said Shuvo Chatterjee, Product Manager at Google's Advanced Protection Program. Google recently update

WhatsApp 'Delete for Everyone' Doesn't Delete Media Files Sent to iPhone Users

WhatsApp 'Delete for Everyone' Doesn't Delete Media Files Sent to iPhone Users
Sep 16, 2019
Mistakenly sent a picture to someone via WhatsApp that you shouldn't have? Well, we've all been there, but what's more unfortunate is that the 'Delete for Everyone' feature WhatsApp introduced two years ago contains an unpatched privacy bug, leaving its users with false sense of privacy. WhatsApp and its rival Telegram messenger offer "Delete for Everyone," a potentially life-saving feature on which millions of people today rely to escape the awkwardness of mistakenly sending messages / pictures / videos to the wrong person. As the name indicates, the ' Delete for Everyone ' feature is intended to unsend mistakenly sent inappropriate messages—including text, photos and videos—from the recipient's phone, or from the phones of all members of a group. In the case of WhatsApp, the feature is only available within 1 hour, 8 minutes, and 16 seconds of sending a message you want to delete, which is fine and a fair use case. However, it tur

Latest iOS 12.1.4 Update Patches 2 Zero-Day and FaceTime Bugs

Latest iOS 12.1.4 Update Patches 2 Zero-Day and FaceTime Bugs
Feb 08, 2019
Apple has finally released iOS 12.1.4 software update to patch the terrible Group FaceTime privacy bug that could have allowed an Apple user to call you via the FaceTime video chat service and hear or see you before you even pick up the call without your knowledge. The Facetime bug (CVE-2019-6223) was discovered by 14-year-old Grant Thompson of Catalina Foothills High School while he was trying to set up a Group FaceTime session with his friends. Thompson reported the bug to the company a week before it made headlines across the internet, forcing Apple to temporarily disable the group calling feature within FaceTime. In its advisory published Thursday, Apple described the bug as "a logic issue existed in the handling of Group FaceTime calls," that also impacted the group FaceTime calling feature on Apple's macOS Mojave 10.14.2. Along with Thompson, Apple has also credited Daven Morris of Arlington, Texas, in its official advisory for reporting this bug. Acc

iCloud Possibly Suffered A Privacy Breach Last Year That Apple Kept a Secret

iCloud Possibly Suffered A Privacy Breach Last Year That Apple Kept a Secret
Jan 30, 2019
Late last year when an unknown group of hackers stole secret access tokens for millions of Facebook accounts by taking advantage of a flaw in its website, the company disclosed the incident and informed its affected users. Similarly, when Twitter was hit by multiple vulnerabilities ( #1 , #2 , #3 ) in the last few months, the social media company disclosed those incidents and informed its affected users. And Guess What? Google is going to shut down its social media network Google+ in April this year after admitting two security flaws in its platform that exposed private data of hundreds of thousands of users to third-party developers. It turns out that Apple also possibly suffered a privacy breach late last year due to a bug in its platform that might have exposed some of your iCloud data to other users, but the company chose to keep the incident secret... maybe because it was not worth to disclose, or perhaps much more complicated. Last week, Turkish security researcher Me

New FaceTime Bug Lets Callers Hear and See You Without You Picking Up

New FaceTime Bug Lets Callers Hear and See You Without You Picking Up
Jan 29, 2019
If you own an Apple device, you should immediately turn OFF FaceTime app for a few days. A jaw-dropping unpatched privacy bug has been uncovered in Apple's popular video and audio call app FaceTime that could let someone hear or see you before you even pick up your call. The bug is going viral on Twitter and other social media platforms with multiple users complaining of this privacy issue that can turn any iPhone into an eavesdropping device without the user's knowledge. The Hacker News has tested the bug on iPhone X running the latest iOS 12.1.2 and can independently confirm that it works, as flagged by 9to5Mac on Monday. We were also able to replicate the bug by making a FaceTime call to a MacBook running macOS Mojave. Here's How Someone Can Spy On You Using FaceTime Bug The issue is more sort of a designing or logical flaw than a technical vulnerability that resides in the newly launched Group FaceTime feature. Here's how one can reproduce the bug:

Watch Out! This New Web Exploit Can Crash and Restart Your iPhone

Watch Out! This New Web Exploit Can Crash and Restart Your iPhone
Sep 17, 2018
It's 2018, and just a few lines of code can crash and restart any iPhone or iPad and can cause a Mac computer to freeze. Sabri Haddouche , a security researcher at encrypted instant messaging app Wire, revealed a proof-of-concept (PoC) web page containing an exploit that uses only a few lines of specially crafted CSS & HTML code. Beyond just a simple crash, the web page, if visited, causes a full device kernel panic and an entire system reboot. The Haddouche's PoC exploits a weakness in Apple's web rendering engine WebKit , which is used by all apps and web browsers running on the Apple's operating system. Since the Webkit issue failed to properly load multiple elements such as "div" tags inside a backdrop filter property in CSS, Haddouche created a web page that uses up all of the device's resources, causing shut down and restart of the device due to kernel panic. You can also watch the video demonstration published by the researcher, which s

USB Accessory Can Defeat iOS's New "USB Restricted Mode" Security Feature

USB Accessory Can Defeat iOS's New "USB Restricted Mode" Security Feature
Jul 10, 2018
With the release of iOS 11.4.1, Apple has finally rolled out a new security feature designed to protect your devices against USB accessories that connect to the data port, making it harder for law enforcement and hackers to break into your iPhone or iPad without your permission. Dubbed USB Restricted Mode , the feature automatically disables data connection capabilities of the Lightning port on your iPhone or iPad if the device has been locked for an hour or longer, while the port can still be used for device charging. In other words, every time you lock your iPhone, a countdown timer of an hour gets activated in the background, which if completed, enables the USB restricted mode to prevent unauthorized access to the data port. Once the USB Restricted Mode gets activated, there's no way left for breaking into an iPhone or iPad without the user's permission. The feature would, no doubt, defeat law enforcement's use of special unlocking hardware made by Cellebrite

Phone-Cracking Firm Found a Way to Unlock Any iPhone Model

Phone-Cracking Firm Found a Way to Unlock Any iPhone Model
Feb 27, 2018
Remember the infamous encryption fight between Apple and the FBI for unlocking an iPhone belonging to a terrorist behind the San Bernardino mass shooting that took place two years ago? After Apple refused to help the feds access data on the locked iPhone, the FBI eventually paid over a million dollar to a third-party company for unlocking the shooter's iPhone 5c. Now, it appears that the federal agency will not have to fight Apple over unlocking iPhones since the Israeli mobile forensics firm Cellebrite has reportedly figured out a way to unlock almost any iPhone in the market, including the latest iPhone X. Cellebrite , a major security contractor to the United States law enforcement agencies, claims to have a new hacking tool for unlocking pretty much every iPhone running iOS 11 and older versions, Forbes reports. In its own literature [ PDF ] "Advanced Unlocking and Extraction Services," Cellebrite says its services can break the security of "Apple iO
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