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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

In one of the biggest attacks against iPhone users, Google security researchers have discovered several hacked websites that used security flaws in iPhones to attack users who visited these websites.

In a blog post, researchers working in Google’s Project Zero team said that after they reported their findings to Apple, the Cupertino-based tech giant patched the vulnerabilities.


The malicious websites may have compromised personal files, messages, and real time location data of iPhone users.

“Earlier this year, Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) discovered a small collection of hacked websites. The hacked sites were being used in indiscriminate watering hole attacks against their visitors, using iPhone 0-day,” said Ian Beer, Project Zero.

There was no target discrimination as simply visiting the hacked site was enough for the exploit server to attack the iPhone, and if it was successful, install a monitoring implant.

“We estimate that these sites receive thousands of visitors per week,” said the Google blog post.


iPhones on display at an Apple store in Virginia, USA, April 4, 2016. VOA

The researchers were able to collect five separate, complete and unique iPhone exploit chains, covering almost every version from iOS 10 through to the latest version of iOS 12.

“This indicated a group making a sustained effort to hack the users of iPhones in certain communities over a period of at least two years,” said Beer.

“I will not get into a discussion of whether these exploits cost $1 million, $2 million, or $20 million. I will instead suggest that all of those price tags seem low for the capability to target and monitor the private activities of entire populations in real time,” the researcher noted.

Also Read: US Lawmakers Ask Jeff Bezos to Stop Sale of ‘Deadly Stuff’ on Amazon

The websites delivered their malware indiscriminately and were operational for years, said Google.

Apple was yet to issue a comment on Google’s blog post. (IANS)


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As the economy continues to recover from the prolonged pandemic.

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The Centre might bestow infrastructure as well as industry status to new sectors to boost several pandemic hit industries in the upcoming Union Budget. Industry insiders said that several sectors and sub-industries such as hospitality, automobile retail, specific diganotics facilities and companies engaged in installation of EV charging stations amongst others might get the status.
The infra tag will enable these sectors to avail tax breaks, incentives and credit on lower interest rates. "Sectors which are in greenfield or which would need capex augmentation to help them overcome the pandemic can be looked from the lens of an infrastructure sector," said Jagannarayan Padmanabhan, Director and Practice Leader, Transport & Logistics, Crisil Infrastructure Advisory. "Also many of the already identified sectors need a sustained policy push which will help them get visibility both in terms of quantum and the time period of applicability."

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In a statement Thursday without identifying the victims, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) stated that "on the morning of January 19, 2022, RCMP officers with the Integrated Border Enforcement Team received concerning information from their counterparts in the United States".

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