An American spy operation has been discovered by a Russian cybersecurity company, Kaspersky,
The Russian government through its Federal Security Service (FSB) made the disclosure in a statement on Thursday.
According to Kaspersky, a government-affiliated hacker attacked a number of dozen employees’ iPhones with unidentified software.
Several thousand Apple Inc. devices, including those of domestic Russian users and foreign diplomats based in Russia and the former Soviet Union, have been infected, according to the FSB, the primary successor to the Soviet-era KGB.
The Russian Computer Emergency Response Team alluded to research released on Thursday by Kaspersky Lab and reaffirmed the FSB’s warning in an advisory posted to its website.
“The FSB has uncovered an intelligence action of the American special services using Apple mobile devices,” the FSB said in a statement.
Commenting on the attack, Kaspersky spokesperson Sawyer VanHorn said: “Although there is no clear indication the same vulnerabilities were exploited previously it is quite possible.”
The Mobile Verification Toolkit, or MVT, a tool designed by Amnesty International, was used by Kaspersky researchers to check offline backups of the targeted iPhones and find “traces of compromise.”