A few days ago, a chain of malicious website exploits targeting iPhone users were detailed by Google Project Zero security researchers. TechCrunch now reports that these attacks were used by the Chinese government to target Uyghur Muslims.
Citing sources familiar with the issue, TechCrunch claims the malicious websites used to hack into iPhones, first described by Google, were part of a “state-backed attack,” probable from China, targeted at “target the Uyghur community in the country’s Xinjiang state.”
The study goes on to detail that Beijing has arrested “more than 1 million Uyghurs in internment camps” over the past year, according to information from the United Nations.
Google researchers first clarified that the victims were tricked into opening a connection to the infected website. The malware has been implemented on that webpage. The implant “primarily focused on stealing files and uploading live location data,”every 60 seconds as often as possible. Because the end unit itself was compromised, it also influenced facilities such as iMessage, scientists said.
When this attack was first detailed by Google security researchers, it was uncertain who specifically targeted it. The research from TechCrunch now offers more information on this.
The report adds that the affected websites would also infect non-Uyghurs who visited the infected website. In Google’s search outcomes, the domains were indexed, making it comparatively simple for anyone to stumble over them.
With the launch of iOS 12.1.4 back in February, Apple closed the vulnerability exploited here. These new reports have not yet been commented by Apple detailing the scope and target of the attack.