Two-year-old iOS hack may have affected Android and Windows devices too

The iPhone-Hacking Sites Google Found Apparently Went After Android And Windows Users Too

The attacks were reportedly used to target devices used by the Uighur community, with the attacks were updated over time as different operating systems and new smartphones and PC models were released.

For at least two years, several malicious sites infected the iPhone that connected to it with spyware with root access, which thus returned the phone information - WhatsApp encrypted messages and iMessage, or geolocation in real-time - to attackers servers.

According to Forbes, the two-year campaign which we'd previously assumed was just aimed at iOS actually morphed during the course of the two-year attack to reflect the gadget ownership of the target group.

These websites were indexed on Google, and the researchers say that the attack was not limited to a particular geographical location, anyone who would visit the site could have been under attack.

Ian Beer, from Google's Project Zero, said in a blog post that the hacked sites didn't discriminate against victims.

The Chinese government were targeting Uighur ethnic group through this attack.

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The exploit chains affected iOS versions spanning from iOS 10.0.1 released in September 2016 to 12.1.2 issued last December.

Implants pilfered personal data such as pictures, messages and even locations.

Latest reports indicate that both Android devices and Windows PCs were also subjected to the same attacks, with the predominant targets being devices owned by people in the Xinjiang region of China - making Chinese authorities nearly certainly the group behind the attacks.

Apple, Google, and Microsoft did not right away react to Organisation Expert's request for remark.

China keeps Xinjiang under lockdown, with roadblocks and security checks regularly carried out, and pervasive CCTV with image recognition systems.

Beijing has already attracted widespread criticism for its treatment of Uighurs in the northwest region of Xinjiang, where up to one million members of mostly Muslim minority groups are held in internment camps, according to estimates. Apple fixed the vulnerabilities in iOS 12.1.4 in February, within a week after Google privately notified the iPhone maker of the flaws.

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