The Federal Security Service, together with the Federal Security Service of Russia, revealed the intelligence action of the American special services, carried out using mobile devices of the American company Apple. This is reported by the Center for Public Relations of the FSB.
"In the course of ensuring the security of the Russian telecommunications infrastructure, anomalies were identified that are characteristic only of users of Apple mobile phones and are caused by the work of previously unknown malicious software that uses software vulnerabilities provided by the manufacturer," the report said.
According to the Russian intelligence service, several thousand Apple phones around the world were infected.
"In addition to domestic subscribers, facts of infection of foreign numbers and subscribers using SIM cards registered to diplomatic missions and embassies in Russia, including the countries of the NATO bloc and the post-Soviet space, as well as Israel, the SAR and China, have been revealed," the FSB said.
"The company provides American intelligence agencies with a wide range of opportunities to control both any persons of interest to the White House, including their partners in anti-Russian activities, and their own citizens," the FSB concluded.
This is not the first high-profile case involving accusations of espionage against the United States. So, at the end of March, a journalist from the American edition of The Wall Street Journal, Evan Gershkovich, was detained in Yekaterinburg, who was collecting information constituting a state secret about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex.
In May, the Lefortovo Court of Moscow extended Gershkovich's arrest for three months - until August 30.
"Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the status of a "foreign correspondent", a journalistic visa and accreditation are used by foreigners in our country to cover up activities that are not journalism. Not the first well-known Westerner is grabbed by the hand," said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
"Should be a wake-up call"
Vladimir Olenchenko, a senior researcher at the Center for European Studies of the IMEMO RAS, in an interview with RT, noted that China recently imposed a ban on the purchase of products of the American chip manufacturer Micron Technology by national operators of the country's critical information infrastructure.
"They put it in a streamlined way - that there is no cybersecurity. But if translated into simple language, there is no certainty that the devices are not used for any purpose, including intelligence. The Americans have used it and will continue to use it. Of course, it is necessary for those people who turn to these gadgets to take this into account. If we talk about state institutions, then we need to think about the use of this technique. Americans have sought and will continue to seek control and information. The fact that ours received direct evidence should be a wake-up call for all sorts of users, "said the interlocutor of RT.
In turn, information security expert Taras Tatarinov, in a conversation with RT, noted that well-known brands and leaders in the mobile gadget market often have zero-day vulnerabilities.
"These vulnerabilities are used, among other things, for surveillance, for collecting information, in order to gain access to the device and all the information that is stored there. Such malware is difficult to detect, and it potentially helps to gain access to all the information that is stored on the device, including videos, correspondence, telephone conversations. It is impossible to protect yourself from such attacks. Especially for an ordinary user," he said.