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posted by martyb on Monday September 09 2019, @12:38AM   Printer-friendly
from the own-your-mistakes dept.

Apple takes flak for disputing iOS security bombshell dropped by Google

Apple is taking flak for disputing some minor details of last week's bombshell report that, for at least two years, customers' iOS devices were vulnerable to a sting[sic] of zeroday exploits, at least some of which were actively exploited to install malware that stole location data, passwords, encryption keys, and a wealth of other highly sensitive data.

Google's Project Zero said the attacks were waged indiscriminately from a small collection of websites that "received thousands of visitors per week." One of the five exploit chains Project Zero researchers analyzed showed they "were likely written contemporaneously with their supported iOS versions." The researcher's conclusion: "This group had a capability against a fully patched iPhone for at least two years."

Earlier this week, researchers at security firm Volexity reported finding 11 websites serving the interests of Uyghur Muslims that the researchers believed were tied to the attacks Project Zero identified. Volexity's post was based in part on a report by TechCrunch citing unnamed people familiar with the attacks who said they were the work of [a] nation—likely China—designed to target the Uyghur community in the country's Xinjiang state.

[...]For a week, Apple said nothing about any of the reports. Then on Friday, it issued a statement that critics are characterizing as tone-deaf for its lack of sensitivity to human rights and an overfocus on minor points.


Nicholas Weaver, a researcher at UC Berkeley's International Computer Science Institute, summed up much of this criticism by tweeting: “The thing that bugs me most about Apple these days is that they are all-in on the Chinese market and, as such, refuse to say something like ‘A government intent on ethnic cleansing of a minority population conducted a mass hacking attack on our users.’"

[...]Apple had an opportunity to apologize to those who were hurt, thank the researchers who uncovered systemic flaws that caused the failure, and explain how it planned to do better in the future. It didn't do any of those things. Now, the company has distanced itself from the security community when it needs it most.

See also: The stakes are too high for Apple to spin the iPhone exploits
Apple says Uighurs targeted in iPhone attack but disputes Google findings

Related: China Forces its Muslim Minority to Install Spyware on Their Phones
China Installs Surveillance App on Smartphones of Visitors to Xinjiang Region

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 09 2019, @10:33PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 09 2019, @10:33PM (#891916)

    It comes from the top. Muslims believe homosexuals should be stoned to death, and Tim Cook doesn't want to be stoned to death so if he can kill all the Muslims first he'll be OK.