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Apple has long marketed the greater security and privacy it offers users © Bloomberg

Apple has released software updates after disclosing vulnerabilities that could have enabled hackers to access people’s devices, as the company faces pressure to tackle spyware and defend its reputation for strong cybersecurity.

In “security update” posts on Wednesday and Thursday, Apple said customers should update to the latest software to avoid risks affecting its Safari browser, Mac computers, iPhone and iPad devices.

“These software vulnerabilities could give attackers full access to a vulnerable device,” said Rachel Tobac, a hacker and chief executive of SocialProof Security, which teaches companies about cyber attacks. “Everyone should update their Apple devices, especially those who are most at risk for nation-state attacks, such as journalists, activists, and those in the public eye.”

The update comes after the release of an emergency software patch last year, when researchers discovered a vulnerability that allowed hackers to deploy controversial Israeli company NSO Group’s spyware tool through its iMessage app. Apple has long marketed the greater security and privacy it offers users.

Apple, which declined to comment further, said it was aware of reports that the latest vulnerabilities “may have been actively exploited”.

Last month, the company introduced a security function called “Lockdown Mode” for users who feel they are vulnerable to sophisticated cyber attacks. Apple said this “extreme, optional protection” was to protect against “the rarest” of attacks and it would strictly limit the capabilities of an iPhone.

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