Flaw in iPhone, iPads may have allowed hackers to steal data for years

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WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO — Apple Inc is planning to fix a flaw that a security firm said may have left more than half a billion iPhones vulnerable to hackers.

The bug, which also exists on iPads, was discovered by ZecOps, a San Francisco-based mobile security forensics company, while it was investigating a sophisticated cyberattack against a client that took place in late 2019. Zuk Avraham, ZecOps’ chief executive, said he found evidence the vulnerability was exploited in at least six cybersecurity break-ins.

An Apple spokesman acknowledged that a vulnerability exists in Apple’s software for email on iPhones and iPads, known as the Mail app, and that the company had developed a fix, which will be rolled out in a forthcoming update on millions of devices it has sold globally.

Apple declined to comment on Avraham’s research, which was published on Wednesday, that suggests the flaw could be triggered from afar and that it had already been exploited by hackers against high-profile users.

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