‘Zero-Click’ Spyware Emerges As Menacing Mobile Threat

  • In July 2020, an Azerbaijani journalist’s iPhone silently received a command to open the Apple Music app.
  • Without the journalist’s knowledge or interaction, the app connected to a malicious server and downloaded spyware onto the phone that remained there for 17 months, eavesdropping on phone calls and text messages.
  • The hack was an example of a “zero-click” attack—a method of placing spyware on a phone without tricking a user into doing anything, such as clicking on a malicious link sent in an email or text message.
  • It’s a technique that governments have utilized to target their opponents on a greater scale and for a longer duration than previously known, according to recent research from Amnesty International and Citizen Lab.
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