Apple Releases Final iOS 14 Update, Patching Spyware Venerability

Today Apple released the final iOS 14 update, getting ready for the upcoming iOS15 update which will be coming out later this month. The update fixes the software exploit that has been in use since February and has been used to deploy Pegasus onto iPhones.

iOS 14
iOS 14 introduced widgets onto the home screen, the app draw and Picture in Picture for the first time on iPhone

Apple just released what will likely be the final major, update to iOS 14; iOS 14.8.

According to the release notes, the 'update provides important security updates' and is 'recommended for all users'.

The update was released to address a critical vulnerability that independent researchers say has been exploited by notorious surveillance software to spy on a Saudi activist.

Researchers from the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab said the software exploit has been in use since February and has been used to deploy Pegasus, the spyware made by Israeli firm NSO Group that has allegedly been used to surveil journalists and human rights advocates in multiple countries.

The urgent update that Apple released Monday plugs a hole in the iMessage software that allowed hackers to infiltrate a user's phone without the user clicking on any links, according to Citizen Lab. The Saudi activist chose to remain anonymous, Citizen Lab said.

Apple credited the Citizen Lab researchers for finding the vulnerability, but an Apple spokesman declined further comment.

In a statement, NSO Group did not address the allegations, only saying, "NSO Group will continue to provide intelligence and law enforcement agencies around the world with life saving technologies to fight terror and crime."

The firm has previously said its software is only sold to vetted customers for counterterrorism and law enforcement purposes.

iOS 14 was one of the major updates for the iPhone in recent years by bringing features that users had been requesting for years into the operating system. Things like Picture in Picture and the ability to unlock your phone from your Apple Watch while wearing a mask made waves but, ultimately, widgets on the home screen stole the limelight. widgets had been one of the most requested features on iPhone for years and it finally allowed users to have greater control and customisation over their home screens.

iOS 15 is due to be released to the public sometime in the fall, bringing a smaller set of updates but with an array of new security features for your iPhone.