World

Apple launches 
anti-spyware fix

Yesterday, Apple launched an urgent software update for iOS devices.

Now, it is protected against a security flaw, which could take control of your phone's camera and microphone, record your WhatsApp calls and track your movements, Reuters reported.

Apple was alerted to the threat after researchers discovered that a prominent United Arab Emirates dissident's phone had been targeted with a previously unknown method of hacking.

The spyware would have been installed on Mr Ahmed Mansoor's phone after he clicked on a web link.

Instead, the human rights activist forwarded it to researchers at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab, an Internet watchdog.

FLAWS

Experts at Citizen Lab worked with security company Lookout and discovered that the link would have installed a program taking advantage of three flaws that Apple and the others were not aware of. They published their findings on Aug 25.

It was "the most sophisticated spyware package we have seen in the market," said Mr Mike Murray, a researcher with Lookout.

The researchers said they had alerted Apple a week and a half ago, and the company developed a fix and distributed it as an automatic update to iPhone 6 owners.

The next day, the latest update, iOS 9.3.5, was launched.

Apple spokesman Fred Sainz confirmed that the company had issued the patch after being contacted by researchers.

"We advise all of our customers to always download the latest version of iOS to protect themselves against potential security exploits," said Apple.

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