Bill Marczak, a security researcher who has made a study of the NSO Group’s Pegasus tool, posted this Twitter thread Sunday:
@AmnestyTech saw an iOS 14.6 device hacked with a zero-click iMessage exploit to install Pegasus. We at @citizenlab also saw 14.6 device hacked with a zero-click iMessage exploit to install Pegasus. All this indicates that NSO Group can break into the latest iPhones.
It also indicates that Apple has a MAJOR blinking red five-alarm-fire problem with iMessage security that their BlastDoor Framework (introduced in iOS 14 to make zero-click exploitation more difficult) ain’t solving.
Phone logs show that (at least some of) the iOS 13.x and 14.x zero-click exploits deployed by NSO Group involved ImageIO, specifically the parsing JPEG and GIF images. ImageIO has had more than a dozen high-severity bugs reported against it in 2021.
BlastDoor is a great step, to be sure, but it’s pretty lame to just slap sandboxing on iMessage and hope for the best. How about: “don’t automatically run extremely complex and buggy parsing on data that strangers push to your phone?!”
My take: I pay Apple a premium so I don’t have to worry about this kind of crap. You’ve been warned, Cupertino. Clock’s a-ticking.