In case you missed our coverage this week in ThreatWatch, Nextgov’s regularly updated index of cyber breaches:
Text messages sent to a human rights activist led to an Apple software update to plug three zero-day vulnerabilities in iOS devices.
Ahmed Mansoor, an activist based in the United Arab Emirates and previous hack victim, forwarded some suspicious text messages he received Aug. 10 to a Citizen Lab researcher, according a Motherboard report.
Citizen Lab and mobile security firm Lookout found sophisticated malware that uses three zero-day flaws to remotely jailbreak an iOS device and install spyware. Citizen Lab says the exploits—called Trident—are used in Pegasus spyware sold by NSO Group, an Israel-based company with ties to U.S. venture capital firm Francisco Partners Management.
The Lookout report called the Pegasus spyware “the most sophisticated attack” the company has encountered on any endpoint device and suspects it’s been around since iOS 7.
The spyware has “significant abuse potential,” according to Citizen Lab, and could be used to target political opponents, journalists and human rights activists. Lookout said it could be used for high-level corporate espionage.
Apple released software update 9.3.5 patch Aug. 25 to address the vulnerabilities.
As Ukraine celebrated its independence from the Soviet Union, hackers took over various government social media channels.
Newsweek reports a group called SPRUT claimed responsibility for commandeering the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense’s Twitter and Instragram accounts and the National Guard’s Twitter account.
The accounts posted messages such as “Ukraine no more” and “Country not found” in Russian, then began reposting SPRUT messages, according to the report.
The Ukraine National Guard regained access and deleted the unauthorized the posts, though its statement credits “unknown persons.”
Suspected Russian intelligence groups attempted to …