Never heard of them? Not surprising. They’re an Israeli firm rival to NSO Group and yes, they develop iPhone exploits. You should know about these groups and be informed as a user of technology.

From TheHackerNews.com – the rival companies, NSO Group and QuaDream, compromised iPhones at the same time using the same vulnerability in iMessage. It allows your phone to be taken over and rooted. And here’s the catch- you don’t even have to click on anything for this exploit to occur.

The name of the exploit is FORCEDENTRY, a zero-click exploit that allows a phone to be compromised simply by sending a malicious message to the target. So all those advertisements you are getting on your phone? Unless you specifically requested it, delete it immediately. The digital rights activists, Citizen Lab, has monitored several journalists and activists that have been directly targeted by nation states in the bid to spy on where these activists are and who they are talking to.

But how far could this really go? Fortunately, your best defense is that you probably don’t have anything anyone wants that badly. But if you do, upgrade your iOS as soon as updates are available. And should you ever suspect spyware is on your phone, take action to defend yourself. Some of the reported signs-

  • A text message that leads to a suspicious address
  • A text message that is personalized that seems designed specifically to get you to open it (known as clickbait).
  • Your phone crashes or resets after you open a text message (even if you don’t click).
  • Your phone is consistently hot even when you aren’t using it.
  • Your data usage has gone up even though you haven’t changed your usage activity.
  • You receive more phone calls from unrecognized entities than usual and it’s more than a case of a misreported phone number.

Governments need to stop treating cyber attacks and cyber crimes as “unpeace” activities and instead need to to treat it for what it is- a malicious act against citizens. For all the good it can achieve, the greater misuse cannot be overlooked.

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