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Apple has released an emergency security update. Here’s why you should download it now

Researchers found that an Israel spyware company had infected Apple devices.

An iPhone 6, left, with an iPhone 7 at an Apple Store in Chicago.
A customer compares her iPhone 6, left, with an iPhone 7 at an Apple Store in Chicago.
Kiichiro Satom, Associated Press

Apple has released an emergency software update for its products Monday after researchers found there was a flaw that allowed spyware to infect iPhones, Apple Watches or Mac computers, The New York Times reports.

Apple’s security team, upon discovery of the flaw, worked to developed the fix on Tuesday.

The flaw was originally found by Citizen lab, a cybersecurity research group based at the University of Toronto.

The researchers found spyware from Israel’s NSO Group had infected a Saudi activist’s phone. The spyware, called Pegasus, could infect an Apple device without someone’s knowledge for six months.

The infection was a “zero click remote exploit” can allow “governments, mercenaries and criminals to secretly break into a victim’s device without tipping the victim off,” according to The New York Times.

To combat the issue, Apple released the iOS 14.8 and iPadOS 14.8 update.

The security note attached to the update reads: “Processing a maliciously crafted PDF may lead to arbitrary code execution. Apple is aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.”

Apple released WatchOS 7.6.2, MacOS Big Sur 11.6 and a security update to MacOS Catalina to address the problem, according to CNET.

Apple has released the update so that people can update their devices quickly.

“Are you, personally, likely to be targeted by shadowy hackers-for-hire? Probably not,” according to Gizmodo. “But that doesn’t mean there’s a good reason to leave your Apple devices vulnerable.”