When Ahmed Mansoor, a human rights activist from United Arab Emirates, received a suspicious text message with a link,he contacted with Citizen Lab, which worked in conjunction with San Francisco-based Lookout, and reported the matter to them. Lookout and Citizen Lab worked with Apple on an iOS security patch, trying to defend against so called “Trident” spyware. The researches have uncovered cyber attack targeting dissident’s iPhone.
How the virus breaks into a phone
There is a common scheme of cyber attacks. A target gets a text message or email with a link. If a victim click the link, it opens a web browser, loads page, exploits vulnerability and installs a spying software which gathers information: localisations, contacts and even conversations.
Due to Mansoor’s reaction on the attack, when he shared his concerns with The Citizen Lab, researchers have also unique opportunity to show the work of “shady cyber arms dealers” who command high prices for morally questionable services, Lookout vice president of security research Mike Murray told AFP.
The activity of such hacking groups can be a serious danger in countries where governments are not able to resist the temptation to use such tools against political opponents.
As a result of this cyber attack, Apple released a security update on Fri, 26 July.