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What is a zero-click attack, and what can you do about them?

Hackers use various tools to gain access to computers and other devices and wreak havoc. However, one of the most dangerous, zero-click attacks, can be especially troublesome because they’re often difficult to recognize until it’s too late. In addition, as its name suggests, a zero-click attack does not require any action from its owners, such as a mouse click, keypress, or any other user interaction, unlike other attack methods like smishing and phishing. Instead, all an attacker needs to do is send the dangerous file to a device and let the exploit get to work.

How do zero-click attacks work?

Most zero-click attacks come through messaging or voice-calling apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messager, Apple iMessage, and Telegram because they receive and interpret data from untrusted sources. Zero-click attacks work because they exploit flaws in how data get validated or processed on the device, then use data verification loopholes to enter. The attacks come through hidden text messages, email, voicemail, or an image file delivered via Wi-Fi, NFC, or Bluetooth. Once installed, the zero-click attack activates an unknown vulnerability that quickly goes after hardware or software — without the owner’s knowledge.

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