Tuesday September 17, 2019
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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 Pixel 4XL To Have A Brighter Camera

Google Pixel fans can expect a brighter camera and beefed up processing power in the upcoming Pixel 4 XL, according to new leaked images of a pre-release Pixel 4 XL provided by Vietnamese phone shop D Store Mobile

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Google Pixel XL smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Google Pixel fans can expect a brighter camera and beefed up processing power in the upcoming Pixel 4 XL, according to new leaked images of a pre-release Pixel 4 XL provided by Vietnamese phone shop D Store Mobile, the media reported.

The primary rear camera will reportedly snap shots with a brighter f/1.73 aperture. Last year’s Pixel 3 had an aperture of f/1.8.

“Leaks of the upcoming camera app suggest that the phone will shoot in 16:9 by default so that photos can take up the entire camera screen, despite the sensor remaining 4:3. The effect is similar to what Apple is doing on the iPhone 11 models, which take advantage of the phone’s extra wide-angle lens to fill the screen,” The Verge reported on Saturday.

Google, Pixel, Smartphone, Camera
New leaked images of a pre-release Pixel 4 XL provided by Vietnamese phone shop D Store Mobile. Pixabay

The details of the telephoto camera aren’t available as of now but it can be safely presumed there would be significant improvements to low-light photos and close-ups.

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The speedy 90Hz OLED screen remains the highlight, but one will also get a Snapdragon 855 processor with 6GB RAM, a 3,700mAh battery (on the XL) and 128GB of UFS storage on at least one model, according to Engadget. (IANS)