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iPhone users: Update now to protect from new spyware threat

iPhone users should download Apple’s latest security update now to protect against a new spyware threat called “Trident.”

Lintao Zhang, Getty Images

Attention iPhone users: You should download the new iOS security update for your phone right now. 

Apple just released the update in light of “Trident,” a serious malware threat that was recently discovered. Once your phone is infected, the spyware can read your texts and emails, track your location, secretly turn on the microphone and camera, and even record your calls, CNET reports.

Mobile security firm Lookout named the spyware Trident given that it stages a three-pronged attack. It forms an “attack chain” by utilizing “three critical iOS zero-day vulnerabilities that, when exploited, form an attack chain that subverts even Apple’s strong security environment,” Lookout writes. 

According to Citizen Lab, out of the University of Toronto, Trident is used in Pegasus, which is a “lawful intercept” spyware product, developed by NSO Group. The company is based in Israel, but is reported to be  owned by a U.S. venture capital firm. 

Citizen Lab first learned about Trident when Mideast human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor was sent the spyware​ and forwarded the questionable emails to the University of Toronto lab. Citizen Lab and Lookout then brought the spyware to Apple’s attention.

How to protect your iPhone

To protect your iPhone against this flaw, you need to make sure you’re running the latest version of Apple’s operating system – iOS 9.3.5. Any earlier version could be vulnerable.

Here’s how to check and update if needed.

Go to Settings, then select General, then About, then click Version. Basically, if it says you have 9.3.5, you’re all set. If you have any other number listed, you’ll have to update.

ios-update1.jpg
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal /CNET

To update  to the latest version, go to Settings, then General, and finally, Software​ Update. Your phone will then check for the most recent update, as seen below:

ios-update2.jpg
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal /CNET

Once your phone has located the most recent update, just tap “Download and Install” and then agree to the terms and conditions to complete the process.

iphone-ios-update3.jpg
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal /CNET
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