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FSB accuses NSA of hacking iPhones

Jun 7, 2023

Kaspersky alleges the same

The Russian FSB intelligence service claims to have busted a US intelligence operation targeting Apple smartphones belonging to diplomatic missions and embassies right there in Russia.

This alleged operation didn't hold back—it set its sights on thousands of devices. We're talking about smartphones of Russian citizens, diplomatic representatives from NATO countries, the post-Soviet bloc, Israel, China, South Africa, and more. And, how did they do it? Well, they exploited a zero-click vulnerability in those shiny Apple smartphones. The FSB pointed the finger at none other than the US National Security Agency (NSA). And, they claim that Apple cooperated with the NSA for these attacks.

But that's not all. Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has some insights too. They've been tracking these attacks, calling them Operation Triangulation. And guess what? Even their own employees were targeted! Kaspersky discovered compromised devices dating all the way back to 2019, and the attacks are still happening as we speak. Unlike the FSB, Kaspersky didn't explicitly link the attacks to the NSA or any other advanced persistent threat. They couldn't say for sure if other organizations were targeted. 

Russian officials have asked their Prosecutor General's Office to launch a formal investigation into Apple employees and US intelligence officials. They want answers, and they want them now! Apple categorically denies aiding any government organization or installing backdoors and states they have never and will never spy on their users.

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