Apple lashes out at Google over iPhone hacking report

Apple issued a statement saying Google created a "false impression" about the hacking attacks. The company says that the attacks were "narrowly focused" and affected fewer than a dozen websites.

    2019/09/10

NSFW    CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA — Apple issued a strongly worded statement on September 6 calling into question Google's recently published research about a widespread hacking operation targeting iPhones.

In a news release, Apple said Google's findings created a "false impression" about the attacks. The tech company said the hackings were "narrowly focused" and affected fewer than a dozen websites that provide content related to the Muslim Uyghurs in China.

Google's Project Zero had uncovered a hacking operation in which websites would install a monitoring implant to steal sensitive data from iPhones if users simply visit the site.

Google did not name the infected websites or the target of the attacks.

According to the BBC, Apple believes Google did not mention who the hackers were targeting because of its business interests in China.

Google also failed to mention that Android phones were also targeted in the hacking scandal. The company insists it did not know that its phones were affected and said that they only found exploits in iOS devices.

A separate report by Volexity, which examined the same threat as Google, found that hackers affiliated with the Chinese government were carrying out cyber attacks on Uyghurs by targeting the websites they visit. These targeted iPhones as well as Android devices.

Apple claims that the attacks took place for only two months, refuting Google's claims that the attacks were over a two-year period.

In the news release, Apple goes on to say that it was already in the process of fixing the exploited bugs in the iPhones when Google approached the company. Apple says it fixed the vulnerabilities 10 days after it found out about the issue.

Project Zero found a total of 14 different vulnerabilities across different iPhone operating systems from iOS10 to iOS12.

In a statement to the Verge, Google said it stands by its report, adding that it will "continue to work with Apple and other leading companies to help keep people safe online."
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