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Malicious Websites put iPhones Users at Hacking Risk: Google

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

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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.

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.

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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 Plans To Bring Live Transcription Feature To Its Translate App For Android

Interestingly, the feature is similar to how the real-time transcription works in Google's "Recorder" app, barring that it's also translating the speaker's words

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Google
The feature will allow users to record audio in one language and have it rendered in another in real time. Pixabay

In a bid to make its translation tech even more powerful, Google is now mulling to bring live transcription feature to its Google Translate app for Android.

The feature will allow users to record audio in one language and have it rendered in another in real time.

It’s still in the prototype stage, but Google gave a demonstration of the technology during a series of artificial intelligence demos at its San Francisco office, The verge reported on Tuesday.

Google
In a bid to make its translation tech even more powerful, Google is now mulling to bring live transcription feature to its Google Translate app for Android. Pixabay

Interestingly, the feature is similar to how the real-time transcription works in Google’s “Recorder” app, barring that it’s also translating the speaker’s words (into whatever specified language) rather than simply transcribing them.

ALSO READ: “Ring Doorbell” App Owned By Amazon Gets Accused Of Sending Users’ Data To Third Parties

It will not work with audio files, at least at first; it will have to be live audio captured through a smartphone microphone, although Google says you could always play recorded audio through a speaker and capture it that way, the report added. (IANS)