Researchers at digital watchdog group Citizen Lab said on Thursday they had discovered spyware linked to Israeli company NSO that exploited a newly discovered flaw in Apple devices.
Citizen Lab said in a statement that it discovered the flaw had been used by NSO’s Pegasus spyware to infect the device last week while examining an Apple device owned by an employee of a civil society organization in Washington.
“This shows that civil society is once again an early warning system for really sophisticated attacks,” said John Scott-Railton, a senior fellow at the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.
Citizen Lab did not provide further details on affected individuals or organizations.
The digital watchdog said the flaw allowed iPhones running the latest version of iOS (16.6) to be compromised without any interaction from the victim.
Apple released a new update to its devices after investigating the flaw reported by Citizen Lab. An Apple spokesman declined to comment further, while Citizen Lab urged consumers to update their devices.
An ONS spokesman said it had no immediate comment on the Citizen Lab study.
The Israeli company has been blacklisted by the U.S. government since 2021 for alleged abuse of power, including spying on government officials and journalists.