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Apple accuses Google researchers of 'stoking fear' about iPhone hack

Apple says Google researchers who reported vulnerab...

Posted: Sep 9, 2019 8:25 AM

Apple says Google researchers who reported vulnerabilities in iPhone software that potentially gave hackers access to the devices are creating a "false impression" and "stoking fear."

Cybersecurity researchers at Google's Project Zero detailed the vulnerabilities in a blog post late last month, describing a campaign to exploit "iPhones en masse" through a small number of hacked websites over a period of "at least two years."

Apple disputed those claims in a statement released Friday.

"The sophisticated attack was narrowly focused, not a broad-based exploit of iPhones 'en masse' as described," the company said. It said the hacked websites used to exploit the vulnerabilities numbered fewer than a dozen and mainly featured content related to the Uyghur community, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group from China's western Xinjiang region.

"Google's post, issued six months after iOS patches were released, creates the false impression of 'mass exploitation' to 'monitor the private activities of entire populations in real time,' stoking fear among all iPhone users that their devices had been compromised," Apple said. "This was never the case."

The smartphone maker also countered Google's claims about the duration of the attacks.

"All evidence indicates that these website attacks were only operational for a brief period, roughly two months, not 'two years' as Google implies," Apple said, adding that it fixed the vulnerabilities in February, 10 days after finding out about them.

"When Google approached us, we were already in the process of fixing the exploited bugs," the company said.

Google defended its findings in a statement to CNN Business.

"Project Zero posts technical research that is designed to advance the understanding of security vulnerabilities, which leads to better defensive strategies," the company said in a statement. "We stand by our in-depth research which was written to focus on the technical aspects of these vulnerabilities. We will continue to work with Apple and other leading companies to help keep people safe online," it said.

Apple's defense of its software comes just before a media event on Tuesday, during which it is expected to reveal a new line of iPhones.

As it downplayed the impact of the vulnerabilities found by the Google researchers, Apple sought to reassure iPhone users about the security of their devices.

"Regardless of the scale of the attack, we take the safety and security of all users extremely seriously," it said. "Our product security teams around the world are constantly iterating to introduce new protections and patch vulnerabilities as soon as they're found. We will never stop our tireless work to keep our users safe."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 137536

Reported Deaths: 2421
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin34657994
Ramsey14342362
Dakota10027138
Anoka9039151
Washington608972
Stearns599144
Scott349634
Olmsted331430
St. Louis307970
Wright260915
Clay236243
Nobles230916
Blue Earth20667
Carver18477
Kandiyohi17535
Sherburne173322
Rice167410
Mower153517
Winona127819
Chisago10832
Crow Wing106222
Lyon9966
Benton9769
Waseca9379
Beltrami9147
Otter Tail9017
Todd8656
Steele7823
Morrison77610
Itasca76317
Nicollet74718
Douglas7283
Polk7244
Freeborn6914
Le Sueur6456
Goodhue62511
Martin61518
McLeod6104
Becker5884
Watonwan5794
Isanti5715
Pine5540
Chippewa4663
Carlton4622
Mille Lacs42715
Hubbard4103
Dodge4040
Wabasha3970
Cass3905
Pipestone35917
Rock3484
Meeker3453
Brown3333
Yellow Medicine2926
Roseau2900
Murray2893
Cottonwood2860
Redwood28411
Fillmore2640
Sibley2603
Renville25812
Wadena2553
Faribault2390
Kanabec22510
Jackson2171
Houston2121
Swift2091
Pennington2071
Unassigned19353
Lincoln1890
Stevens1871
Aitkin1862
Koochiching1725
Pope1650
Lac qui Parle1443
Big Stone1431
Wilkin1404
Marshall1311
Lake1260
Norman1210
Mahnomen1172
Clearwater1140
Grant994
Red Lake812
Traverse580
Kittson490
Lake of the Woods441
Cook170

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 117876

Reported Deaths: 1666
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19173289
Woodbury728597
Johnson590630
Black Hawk5727101
Linn5692132
Dubuque529558
Scott466241
Story403918
Dallas348544
Pottawattamie326744
Sioux247017
Buena Vista226812
Marshall204436
Webster189115
Plymouth167831
Wapello154162
Clinton150227
Muscatine148758
Des Moines140910
Cerro Gordo140227
Crawford136314
Warren12737
Carroll116813
Jasper112334
Henry10745
Marion103211
Lee95910
Tama95837
Delaware80213
Dickinson7529
Wright7341
Boone7269
Mahaska70924
Bremer6879
Harrison67315
Washington66711
Jackson6463
Benton5982
Lyon5568
Clay5414
Louisa52515
Winnebago50219
Hardin4837
Winneshiek4839
Hamilton4784
Cedar4777
Kossuth4770
Buchanan4625
Poweshiek46211
Jones4544
Clayton4503
Floyd44011
Emmet43520
Iowa4189
Page4130
Guthrie40715
Cherokee4062
Mills4053
Sac4034
Cass4023
Butler3883
Fayette3844
Franklin38218
Shelby3812
Allamakee3809
Chickasaw3641
Madison3643
Clarke3573
Humboldt3383
Hancock3314
Grundy3186
Palo Alto3162
Calhoun3124
Osceola2890
Mitchell2831
Howard2749
Monroe26211
Union2524
Taylor2482
Jefferson2451
Monona2452
Appanoose2333
Pocahontas2322
Fremont2091
Lucas2066
Ida1962
Greene1880
Van Buren1812
Montgomery1807
Davis1794
Adair1771
Keokuk1641
Decatur1530
Audubon1511
Worth1460
Wayne1323
Ringgold922
Adams830
Unassigned150
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