Apple Inc issued a patch on Thursday to fix a dangerous security hole in iPhones and iPads after researchers discovered that a prominent United Arab Emirates dissident s phone had been targeted with a previously unknown method of hacking.

The attack on the dissident, Ahmed Mansoor, used a text message that invited him to click on a web link.

Instead of clicking, he forwarded the message to researchers at the University of Toronto s Citizen Lab.

Experts there worked with security company Lookout and determined that the link would have installed a program taking advantage of a flaw that Apple and others were not aware of.

The researchers disclosed their findings on Thursday.

The researchers said that they had alerted Apple, which developed a fix and distributed it as an automatic update to iPhone 6 owners.

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