Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has announced the exposure of an espionage operation conducted by the United States, which successfully infiltrated and compromised numerous iPhones using advanced surveillance software. The operation targeted the devices of several employees of Moscow-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, compromising their security. The FSB, the primary successor to the Soviet-era KGB, revealed that thousands of Apple devices, belonging to both Russian nationals and foreign diplomats stationed in Russia and other former Soviet Union countries, were infected.
Alleged Close Cooperation Between Apple and the NSA
The FSB claims that the operation uncovered a “close cooperation” between Apple and the National Security Agency (NSA), the US organization responsible for cryptographic and communications intelligence and security. However, the FSB did not provide any evidence to support its claim of Apple’s involvement or awareness of the spying campaign. Apple promptly denied the allegations, stating that they have never collaborated with any government to create backdoors in their products and that they never will. The NSA has declined to comment on the matter.
Details from Kaspersky Lab
Eugene Kaspersky, the CEO of Kaspersky Lab, revealed on Twitter that several of his employees’ phones were compromised in the operation. The cybersecurity firm characterized the attack as an “extremely complex, professionally targeted cyberattack” primarily focused on high and middle-management personnel. Igor Kuznetsov, a researcher at Kaspersky, informed Reuters that abnormal network traffic was independently detected on the company’s corporate Wi-Fi network earlier in the year. However, Kaspersky did not report its findings to Russia’s Computer Emergency Response Team until recently.
Ongoing Attack and Targeted Diplomats
According to Kaspersky, the earliest signs of infection date back to 2019, and the attack is still ongoing as of June 2023. The company clarified that while its staff were affected, it believes that Kaspersky was not the primary target of the cyberattack. The FSB claims that the American hackers compromised the devices of diplomats from various countries, including Israel, Syria, China, and NATO member states. Officials from Israel have declined to comment, while representatives from China, Syria, and NATO were not immediately available for a response.
The Hindustan Herald Is Your Source For The Latest In Business, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Breaking News, And Other News. Please Follow Us On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, And LinkedIn To Receive Instantaneous Updates. Also Don’t Forget To Subscribe Our Telegram Channel @hindustanherald