Given Apple's focus on security and privacy, its closed operating system and restricting app downloads to the Apple App Store, iPhones are believed to be much more secure over Android smartphones.
Yes, they are but it doesn't mean they can't be hacked. NSO's Pegasus spyware could easily snoop on Apple iPhones too. The hackers used the zero-click iMessage exploit on the iPhones running iOS 14.6 to install Pegasus software.
Describing the attack to be a well-funded and highly sophisticated one that targeted specific individuals, Apple believes this attack does not represent a threat for the vast majority of iPhone users. However, it said it takes such instances and attacks seriously and is quickly working to render them unusable.
Leading the industry in security innovation for over a decade, Apple's iOS is believed to be the most secure consumer platform in the world and Apple wishes to keep it that way.
"Apple has taken many steps to ensure user's privacy - or at least increase its level in a significant way. For instance, now, apps are required to ask for permissions for accessing specific data or tracing location, besides everything else.
However, when it comes to malicious attacks, we are no longer talking about privacy, we are speaking about cybersecurity. Malware does not care to ask for permissions from a user, because it is malicious by design," explains Dmitry Galov, security researcher at GReAT, Kaspersky.
However, Apple has been viewing security as a process and as a part of this process, the company has been rapidly addressing critical vulnerabilities, while providing security updates that are immediately delivered to even older devices.
"We have an unparalleled track record of introducing groundbreaking new protections in our silicon (like pointer authentication codes) and in our software (like BlastDoor) - and we work tirelessly to improve these features over time to enhance their capabilities, and to respond to new threats," says Apple.
Cupertino-giant has been continuously investing in security means and Apple's security team has grown significantly -- with the growth of about 4x in the last 5 years. This team comprised many top experts in their field, ranging from threat intelligence specialists and offensive security researchers to platform defence engineers and everything in between.
Apple says its security team collaborates closely with researchers and others in the security community, but has not made it a focus to broadcast much of that collaboration.
Ivan Krstic, head of Apple security engineering and architecture said, "For over a decade, Apple has led the industry in security innovation and, as a result, security researchers agree iPhone is the safest, most secure consumer mobile device on the market. Attacks like the ones described are highly sophisticated, cost millions of dollars to develop, often have a short shelf life, and are used to target specific individuals."
Apple has condemned the cyberattack and is constantly working on adding new protection.
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