Apple Releases iOS 9.3.5 with Fixes for 3 Zero-Day Security Exploits

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released iOS 9.3.5 to the public, bringing fixes for three zero-day security exploits used to hack into targeted users' iPhones.

According to Mac Rumors, iOS 9.3.5 patches three zero-day vulnerabilities which were actively being exploited by surveillance software:

In an overview of the exploits, security firm Lookout says NSO Group's spyware software, nicknamed "Pegasus," was highly sophisticated, installing itself through a link sent via a text message.

The exploit was initially discovered on August 11 after human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor received a suspicious link and sent it to Citizen Lab and Lookout. Had Mansoor clicked the link, it would have jailbroken his iPhone and installed "sophisticated malware" able to intercept phone calls, text messages, FaceTime calls, email, and more.

Pegasus is the most advanced attack Lookout has seen because it is customizable, can track a range of things, and uses strong encryption to avoid detection. Lookout believes "Pegasus" had been in the wild for quite some time before it was discovered, with some evidence dating back to iOS 7.

As iOS 9.3.5 appears to be a security update to fix three very specific issues, it is unlikely that there will be any accessibility changes in this release. However, if you do spot any changes, please let us know in the comments.

iOS 9.3.5 is available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings> General> Software Update) or via iTunes.

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Submitted by Bingo Little on Friday, August 26, 2016

After the fun and larks of recent days, if anyone could let us know whether this update starts eating the battery with a voracious appetite again i know I for one would appreciate it.

Submitted by Lit Xuan on Saturday, August 27, 2016

After updating my iPhone 6 to iOS 9.3.5, I noticed some lag in device performance and slow wi-fi connectivity. I'm not really sure if it's a normal behavier from device after a software update before settling down in sometime or anybody else experience the same thing. But I'm okay with it. It's not that huge difference. Speaking about battery, it may be too early for me to give my comment, but so far I haven't encounter any huge battery drain issue. Hopefully iOS 10 will be a lot better in everything.

Submitted by Lysette Chaproniere on Saturday, August 27, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I don't recall any other occasion when so many iOS updates were released in such a short space of time. It's especially notable given that iOS 10 is just around the corner. Are there more security breaches than usual at the moment or has Apple just become more responsive to them?

Submitted by Fatima.Hamoud10 on Sunday, August 28, 2016

In reply to by Lysette Chaproniere

The last two iOS updates which were iOS 9.3.4 and 9.3.5 were recommended for security reasons. The first one fixes the iOS 9.3.3 jailbreak and the second one fixes the 3-0 day vulnerability that became known to everyone. In iOS 9.3.5 you can no longer install malware on any iOS device. Just remember not to click on any unknown links. Even if those links were in any text message. You might also consider reporting those text messages as spam and blocking any unknown numbers.

Submitted by Toonhead on Sunday, August 28, 2016

Hi guys. Unfortunately, the battery issue still persists for me in iOS 9.3.5. I don't know if it's an app that's doing this, going into my battery section under settings indicates that the home and lock screen was the one eating the most battery power. Under detailed usage data, for the last 24 hours, home & lock screen used 28 percent of the battery, while Roger came in at a close second with 25 percent. This is really terrible performance, it has never, ever been this bad. I forgot to plug in my phone this morning, and I came back to a dead phone after 8 hours of sitting idol. That's never happened. I tested it out one time a year or so ago, and I could get about 19 hours of battery time without having to recharge it. These last 2 iOS updates have cut that in half if not more. Is anyone aware of someone I can contact about this issue? I'm not willing to reset my settings and go through all that crap. No no I shouldn't have to do that just because the battery performance has gone down. Something is eating the battery like candy, and it's not cool at all.

Submitted by Toonhead on Sunday, August 28, 2016

Good thoughts, thanks. I use Sprint for my carrier, so I don't know how much help they would be, i'm thinking contacting apple support might be the best way to go. Like I say I know others have gone the resetting all settings route, but I haven't seen a definiative post that says yes, this absolutely fixed the problem, full stop. I don't like to go through all that trouble if it might work. I'm an impatient guy, I can't lie. I just want stuff to work at this stage. I'm certainly willing to provide any kind of help they need, so that may be the best way to go about this.