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NITDA alerts Nigerians using Apple devices of spyware

THE National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has alerted Apple devices users of a spyware “Pegasus” that affects the products. Hadiza Umar, the Head, Cooperate Affairs and External Relations of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said this on Wednesday in a statement issued in Abuja.

Umar said that the released security updates for a newly discovered zero-day vulnerability affects every iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. According to her, research revealed that the zero-click exploit, which targets iMessaging, is used to illegally spy on iPhone Operating System (iOS) devices.

She said that the attacker infects and exploits an Apple device without the victim’s knowledge or the need for the victim to carry out any action.

“A spyware called Pegasus gets deployed into the targeted device, turns on the camera and microphone to record messages, texts, emails and calls, even if sent via encrypted messaging apps.

“Once the attacker has control of the device, the attacker compromises the user’s credentials, gains access to entire infrastructure, identify sensitive assets and move laterally within the network,” she said.

She said that iOS versions 14.4 and 14.6 were majorly affected.

Umar warned that users should immediately update their iOS devices with the latest patches iOS 14.8, which was available for free from Apple.

“Plug your device into power and connect to the internet with Wi-Fi, go to Settings: General, then tap Software Update. Tap Install Now, if you see the download and install instead, tap it to download the update, enter your passcode, then tap Install Now.

“After the install process begins, a message that says ‘Verifying Update’ appears, wait for it to finish.

“After verification is complete, your device will restart then the Apple logo and a small progress bar in the centre of the screen, when installation is complete, you can unlock and use your iPhone again as usual,” she said.

She also said that installing patches on Apple watch required you to open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, tap My Watch, go to General- Software Update, then, if an update is available, tap Download and Install.

Umar added that for users to update a macOS from the Apple menu on the corner of their screen should click system preferences, click Software Update, then Update Now or Upgrade Now.

“Update Now installs the latest updates for the currently installed version, while Upgrade Now installs a major new version with a new name. If Software Update says that your Mac is up to date, then macOS and all of the apps it installs are up to date,” she said.

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