Monday December 16, 2019
Home Lead Story Malicious Web...

Malicious Websites put iPhones Users at Hacking Risk: Google

Apple was yet to issue a comment on Google’s blog post

0
//
google, online tracking
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.

Smartphones
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)

Next Story

Google Maps Captures Over 10 mn Miles of Street View Imagery

The company collects street imagery via a fleet of Street View cars, each equipped with nine cameras that capture high-definition imagery from every vantage point possible

0
Google Maps
There's also the Street View trekker on Google Maps, a backpack that collects imagery from places where driving isn't possible.

Google Maps have captured more than 10 million miles of Street View imagery – a distance that could circle the globe over 400 times.

The company announced on Friday that Google Earth now lets people browse more than 36 million square miles of high definition satellite images from various providers – covering more than 98 per cent of the entire population – to see the world from above.

“While these stunning photos show us parts of the world we may never get a chance to visit, they also help Google Maps accurately model a world that is changing each day,” said Thomas Escobar, Senior Product Manager, Google Maps.

The idea of Street View started as a side project more than 12 years ago as part of a goal to map the entire world.

The company collects street imagery via a fleet of Street View cars, each equipped with nine cameras that capture high-definition imagery from every vantage point possible.

“These cameras are athermal, meaning that theya�re designed to handle extreme temperatures without changing focus so they can function in a range of environments,” Escobar added.

Each Street View car includes its own photo processing center and lidar sensors that use laser beams to accurately measure distance.

There’s also the Street View trekker, a backpack that collects imagery from places where driving isn’t possible.

These trekkers are carried by boats, sheep, camels, and even scout troops to gather high quality photos from multiple angles, often in some of the hardest-to-map places around the world.

Google Maps
Google Maps have captured more than 10 million miles of Street View imagery – a distance that could circle the globe over 400 times. Pixabay

In 2019 alone, Street View images from the Google Maps community have helped the company assign addresses to nearly seven million buildings in previously under-mapped places like Armenia, Bermuda, Lebanon, Myanmar, Tonga, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.

Once Google collects photos, it uses a technique called photogrammetry to align and stitch together a single set of images.

ALSO READ: Xiaomi Plans to Unveil its First Smart Display Like Google’s Next Hub

“These images show us critically important details about an area-things like roads, lane markings, buildings and rivers, along with the precise distance between each of these objects. All of this information is gathered without ever needing to set foot in the location itself,” said Google. (IANS)