Google has discovered malware and hacking tools that were used to spy on Apple iPhones and Android handsets and were owned by an Italian vendor. The dominant search engine said in a study released on June 23 that it had been monitoring the operations of commercial spyware sellers for years. RCS Labs, the Italian business that Google has identified, targets mobile users of both iOS and Android operating systems using a variety of strategies, including unusual drive-by downloads as first infection vectors. Italy and Kazakhstan were the two places where the victims might be found.

“Seven of the nine zero-day vulnerabilities our Threat Analysis Group discovered in 2021 fall into this category: developed by commercial providers and sold to and used by government-backed actors. TAG is actively tracking more than 30 vendors with varying levels of sophistication and public exposure selling exploits or surveillance capabilities to government-backed actors,” Benoit Sevens and Clement Lecigne, Threat Analysis Group, Google, wrote in a blog post.

“These vendors are enabling the proliferation of dangerous hacking tools and arming governments that would not be able to develop these capabilities in-house. While use of surveillance technologies may be legal under national or international laws, they are often found to be used by governments for purposes antithetical to democratic values: targeting dissidents, journalists, human rights workers and opposition party politicians,” Sevens and Lecigne added.

The business highlighted that, in keeping with its commitment to transparency, once it learns about these activities, it not only takes action to safeguard users but also exposes that information openly to spread awareness and benefit the entire ecosystem.

Apple has terminated all known accounts and certificates connected to the hacking campaign, according to a spokeswoman quoted by news agency Reuters.

Aryan Jakhar

Aryan Jakhar works as an Editor-in-Chief at The Shining Media. Also, he is an editor at YouthPolitician (digital media situated in Taiwan). He writes his opinions on social issues at YouthKiAwaaz and also on his blogger website.

By Aryan Jakhar

Aryan Jakhar works as an Editor-in-Chief at The Shining Media. Also, he is an editor at YouthPolitician (digital media situated in Taiwan). He writes his opinions on social issues at YouthKiAwaaz and also on his blogger website.

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