Russia accuses the United States intelligence of hacking thousands of Apple iPhones

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Russia’s Federal Security Service said on Thursday it had uncovered a plot by the US National Security Agency to use previously unknown malware to exploit custom-made vulnerabilities in Apple iPhones.

The Russian Federal Security Service stated that several thousand Apple iPhones were infected with this malware, including phones of users inside Russia.

Neither Apple Company nor the NSA have yet to respond to emailed requests for comment.

The Russian Federal Security Service added that the targeting included the phones of foreign diplomats based in Russia and countries that were part of the former Soviet Union, including current NATO members, Israel, Syria and China.

“The Russian Federal Security Service revealed that prominent American security services carried out intelligence moves using Apple iPhones,” the Russian Security Service said in a statement.

The 2022 Cyber ​​Power Index released by Harvard University’s Belfer Center showed that the United States is the world’s largest cyber power in terms of accuracy and capabilities, followed by China, Russia, Britain and Australia.

The Russian service said the plot showed close cooperation between Apple Company and the National Security Agency, the US agency responsible for encryption and intelligence and security communications.

Both the Kremlin and the Russian Defense Ministry have noted the importance of the matter.

“The hidden data was collected through vulnerabilities in the software of US-made phones,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

“US intelligence services have been using information technology companies for decades to collect data from Internet users on a large scale without their knowledge,” the ministry added.

The service stated that the plot uncovered by a joint effort between its officers and officials of the Federal Guard Service, an agency responsible for securing Russian leaders.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said all officials in the presidential administration were aware that devices such as iPhones were completely exposed.

“Using them for official purposes is unacceptable and forbidden,” he added, noting that officials are allowed to use these devices for personal and unofficial purposes.

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