Sources say China used iPhone hacks to target Uyghur Muslims


A number of malicious websites used to hack into iPhones over a two-year period were targeting Uyghur Muslims, TechNews has learned

Over years, photos, locations and chat messages on the iPhone can be spied out. Behind the corresponding vulnerability is a media report, a spy attack aimed at the Chinese minority of the Uighurs



The espionage attacks against the iPhone discovered by Google have, according to media reports, turned against the ethnic group of the Uighurs in China. The websites that infected the devices were aimed at the Muslim minority, the technology blog "TechCrunch" and the magazine "Forbes" wrote on the weekend, relying on informed persons. According to "Forbes", smartphones with the Google Android operating system as well as Windows PCs were targeted in addition to the iPhone.
Several vulnerabilities in the iPhone, the Apple had closed in early February with a software update, could be spied among other things photos, chats from services such as WhatsApp and iMessage or the whereabouts. Google experts had pointed out the gaps to Apple and published technical details to it last week. Google did not give any indication of who targeted the spying attacks. It said only that they had been aimed at iPhone users in "specific communities" for at least two years.

Also Android and Windows in the sights?

Google also did not mention attacks on devices running Android or Windows. However, "Forbes" now reported that these operating systems were also attacked. However, the report did not reveal how these attacks worked or how successful they were.
With the Uighurs as a target, Chinese authorities in particular as originators of the malicious software would come into question. The human rights organization Human Rights Watch estimates that one million people in the province of Xinjiang are in reeducation camps, most of them Uighurs.
They are ethnically related to the Turks and feel oppressed by the ruling Han Chinese. After their takeover in Beijing in 1949, the Communists had incorporated the former East Turkestan China. The Beijing government accuses Uighur groups of separatism and terrorism.


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