Tech giant Apple released emergency OS X security updates yesterday — Security Update 2016-001 El Capitan and Security Update 2016-005 Yosemite — to address the same three zero-day exploits as last week?EU?s security update for iOS. Those vulnerabilities, known collectively as the Trident vulnerabilities, are being actively used by ?EU?cyber warfare?EU? company NSO Group Technologies.
The exploits were first discovered a week ago by researchers at digital security groups Citizen Lab and Lookout Security. ?EU?The Trident vulnerabilities used by NSO could have been weaponized against users of non-iOS devices, including OSX,?EU? Citizen Lab wrote in its announcement. ?EU?We encourage all Apple users to install the update as soon as possible.?EU?
The Trident vulnerabilities give the NSO Group three ways to attack a target device: they can convince a target to visit a malicious Web site using the Safari browser, which could lead to arbitrary code execution; an application can be made to disclose kernel memory; or an application can be made to execute arbitrary code on the device with kernel privileges.
Those three exploits could essentially allow a hacker to install any type of malware on a victim?EU?s device to spy on the target, or even take full control of the device.
The Trident vulnerabilities came to light after an attempt was made to attack the iPhone of Ahmed Mansoor, a human rights activist based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). ?EU?On August 10 and 11, 2016, Mansoor received SMS text messages on his iPhone promising ?EU?new secrets?EU? about detainees tortured in UAE jails if he clicked on an included link,?EU? Citizen Lab wrote on its Web site. Instead of clicking on the link, Mansoor sent the messages to Citizen Lab to investigate.
Citizen Lab said the links it received belonged to a collection of exploits connected…