Friday, 20 September, 2019

Apple claps back at Google's claims of iPhone vulnerabilities

No caption Apple pushes back against Google on iOS hack targeting Muslims
Cecil Davis | 11 September, 2019, 14:46

Second, the websites were operational for only about two months, while the report gives the impression that iPhones were being hacked for two years.

Apple has hit back at Google in a statement that made clear it feels that its security researchers have overstated the level of threat against iPhone users. "The attack affected fewer than a dozen websites that focus on content related to the Uighur community [only]".

Apple has taken security and privacy very seriously in recent years, even leaning on those features to help it sell more devices like iPhones and Mac computers.

Last week Google disclosed a large-scale hacking effort that it said targeted users of Apple devices.

Ian Beer of Project Zero wrote last month that Google had notified Apple of the issues discovered on February 1, 2019, and that Apple released iOS patches to address those issues on February 7.

Had Google's Project Zero researchers not documented this problem, we probably would never have heard about it except as an anonymous "security fixes" decimal point in our mobile operating systems.

Apple's latest iPhones will be launching in just a couple of days time and when we thought that there was nothing left to be revealed, a new rumour has come out of the woodwork which dispels everything we thought we knew.

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

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It's been theorized that that this was a targeted attack by the Chinese government on the Uyghur community.

Apple is also contradicting some of the details shared by Google, saying the attempted hack took place over a far shorter time period than claimed in the disclosure.

Google is used to getting publicly chastised for security vulnerabilities - Android is open source, but Apple has the benefit of quietly patching exploits as it finds them in its closed software.

Read the full statement here.

Google said in a statement: "We stand by our in-depth research which was written to focus on the technical aspects of these vulnerabilities,".

In response to the original Project Zero report, Apple today issued an official response which seemingly categorizes Project Zero's report as alarmist.

"Cupertino calling. Join us for an Apple special event live from the Steve Jobs Theater on September 10 at 10 a.m. PDT". On the other hand, Google's Android is not immune to hackers by any means, nor is Microsoft, or Facebook.

While Apple claims they will "never stop our tireless work to keep our users safe", it seems more likely the company will never stop defending their ill-deserved (as reality repeatedly demonstrates) reputation for safety and privacy.