Zero-Click Apple Messenger Vulnerability: Critical Actions to Take

On September 13, Citizen Lab identified a zero-click exploit “in the wild” from NSO Group impacting all Apple Messenger products. This impacts all devices that use Messenger including iPhones, Mac, iPad and Apple Watches. Citizen Lab has dubbed this spyware “Forcedentry.”

Apple has issued an update to combat this vulnerability. The most important step you can take right now is to update your Apple devices to ensure you are no longer impacted. You should update to the following versions:

  • macOS Big Sur 11.6
  • iOS 14.8
  • watchOS 7.6.2

You can further protect yourself from NSO spyware domains by blocking “Trackers” on DNSFilter. DNSFilter has proactively flagged all known NSO spyware domains as “Trackers,” thanks to Amnesty International’s excellent work investigating the group. Our Domain Intelligence team identified and added these trackers to our block list on July 20th, 2021.

Blocking the Trackers category will prevent any compromised devices from sending out data to their servers.

Please note, however, that the vulnerability itself is part of Apple’s Messenger, so will continue to exist and be exploitable by other malicious actors until affected devices have been updated as per Apple’s advisory.

It is imperative to ensure your devices always contain the latest patches to protect against vulnerabilities. Today's announcement about the zero-click exploit impacting Apple devices not only highlights the importance of the patch, but also is active in the wild. If you need to bide your time before making updates across your organization, changing your DNSFilter policy to block "Trackers" will offer an additional layer of protection against this zero-click exploit.

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