How a human rights activist sparked an iPhone security update

A trio of previously unknown weaknesses in Apple’s iOS security were unearthed when a human rights activist from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) received a malicious text message from what turned out to be an Israeli spyware firm, NSO Group.

Ahmed Mansoor, whose human rights work has caused him to be targeted by his government in the past, suspected he should not click the link in a text he received August 10, which claimed to lead to information about torture in UAE prisons. Instead he brought it to the attention of the internet watchdog group Citizen Lab, which turned to mobile security company Lookout for help picking apart the spyware.

“It is amazing the level they’ve gone through to avoid detection,” Mike Murray, a vice president at Lookout, told the Associated Press. The software designers installed “a hair-trigger self-destruct,” he said. READ MORE.