Apple has issued a refutation of the FSB’s accusations of collaborating with US intelligence agencies, which installed spyware on thousands of iPhones to spy on Russian diplomats in many countries around the world. “We have never worked with any government to introduce a backdoor to any Apple product and never will,” the company said in a statement quoted by Reuters.
The FSB statement said that not only Apple devices of Russian citizens, but also foreign diplomats in Russia and the former Soviet Union were hacked. The FSB noted that the revealed facts demonstrated “close cooperation” between Apple and the National Security Agency (NSA), the US agency responsible for cryptographic and communications intelligence and security. In turn, Reuters claims that the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation did not provide any evidence of cooperation between Apple and the NSA.
On the same day, June 1, the CEO of Kaspersky Lab, Evgeny Kaspersky, wrote in a blog that dozens of iPhones of his “top and middle-level” employees were compromised in an “extremely complex, professional targeted cyberattack.”
Kaspersky Lab employee Igor Kuznetsov told Reuters that anomalous traffic on the corporate Wi-Fi network, indicating that spyware is transmitting information to remote servers, was discovered in early 2023, but the company did not provide information about this to the Russian response team to computer emergencies until early Thursday, June 1st. “It is very difficult to ascribe anything to anyone,” he said.
Commenting on the incident, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that “US intelligence agencies have been using IT corporations for decades to collect large-scale data on Internet users without their knowledge.”
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