Ukraine war

Russia says US intelligence agencies hacked thousands of iPhones

Russia has accused the US of hacking thousands of iPhones in the country. (Photo: Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters/File)

Russia has accused U.S. intelligence agencies of breaching tens of thousands of iPhones belonging to Russian citizens and foreign diplomats.

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) announced on Thursday that it had detected "intelligence activities" that compromised the phones of Russian citizens and diplomats from Israel, Syria, China, and NATO.

The Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the Soviet-era KGB espionage agency, claimed Apple worked closely with US spy agencies, including the National Security Agency (NSA), but provided no evidence to support its claim.

Apple did not comment on whether iPhones in Russia had been hacked in a statement, but it denied collaborating with authorities to compromise its devices.

"We have never worked with any government to insert a backdoor into any Apple product, and we never will," the California tech colossus said.

The NSA did not respond to a request for comment immediately.

Separately, the CEO of the cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab stated that dozens of senior employees were victims of an "extremely complex, professionally targeted cyberattack."

Eugene Kaspersky stated in a blog post that the attack was carried out using an invisible iMessage with a malicious attachment that exploited iOS operating system vulnerabilities.

"We are certain that Kaspersky was not the primary target of this cyberattack. According to Kaspersky, the coming days will bring additional clarity and information regarding the global spread of this spyware.

Kaspersky, which has offices in over 30 countries and is headquartered in Moscow, did not attribute the attack to a specific nation or actor.

Due to Moscow's conflict in Ukraine, relations between Russia and the United States are at their most tense point in decades, coinciding with the alleged cyberespionage campaign.

The US Department of Justice announced last month that it had thwarted an FSB malware campaign spanning two decades and more than 50 countries.

Local media reported in March that the Kremlin instructed officials involved in organizing the 2024 Russian presidential election not to use iPhones due to concerns that the devices could be susceptible to infiltration by Western intelligence agencies.

Publish : 2023-06-02 11:03:00

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