CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — A report from Citizen lab and Lookout Security has found several critical zero-day vulnerabilities in iOS 9 for the iPhone which have been reportedly deployed by governments to target activists and agitators.
In response, Apple is urging iPhone users with iOS 9 to upgrade to iOS 9.3.5, which is said to patch the gaps in the previous operating system.
When the gaps are used, the device can be hijacked, allowing an outside force to monitor or even control it remotely.
The hack can allow the hijacker access to stored photos and files, as well as tracking movements: even end-to-end apps that are supposed to be secure can be hacked through access to the camera and microphone.
Some of the exploits were discovered months ago, so it is unknown how they were in use, but so far, it seems any hacks were targeted at individuals and not widespread surveillance.
While these zero-day flaws are not uncommon in iOS, an Apple spokesperson urges users to upgrade immediately.
Apple also advises people to not click on SMS messages that are from unknown numbers since the messages can be spoofed and intercept data from iMessage, Gmail, Viber, Facebook, Skype, and others.
To install the update, go into Settings, then click General, and then Software Update, or update through iTunes on your computer.