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MOSCOW – Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said Thursday it had uncovered a US spying operation that used advanced surveillance software to compromise thousands of iPhones.

Kaspersky Lab, based in Moscow It said several of the company’s senior employees’ devices were compromised while on the job.

Thousands of Apple devices, including subscribers in Russia and diplomats based in Russia and the former Soviet Union, were infected, the FSB, the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, said in a statement.

“The FSB has exposed intelligence activities by US special agents using Apple mobile devices,” the FSB said in a statement.

The FSB said the conspiracy showed “close cooperation” between Apple and the National Security Agency, the US agency responsible for cryptographic information and security.

In a warning published on its website, Russia’s computer emergency response team echoed the FSB’s warnings, citing findings from Kaspersky Lab’s announcement Thursday, which Kaspersky Lab said was “extremely complex and professionally targeted. An undisclosed number of employees said a “cyber attack” targeted “top-tier” employees. and middle management. ”

The NSA declined to comment.

Apple and the White House did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.

Kaspersky did not respond to messages seeking further details about the study. Unlike Russian officials, the company did not blame anyone for the hack.

The FSB has announced that US espionage has implicated diplomats from Israel, Syria, China and NATO member states.

Representatives of China, Israel and NATO were not immediately available for comment.

U.S. Peeping?

The United States is the world’s top cyber powerhouse in terms of intent and capabilities, followed by China, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Australia, according to the Harvard Belfer Center’s 2022 Cyber ​​Power Index.

Both the Kremlin and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted the importance of this issue.

“The covert data collection was carried out using vulnerabilities in the software of US mobile phones,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“For decades, U.S. intelligence agencies have used technology companies to collect large amounts of data on Internet users without their knowledge,” the ministry said.

Russian officials said the conspiracy was part of a joint effort between FSB officials and officials of the Federal Security Service (FSO), a powerful agency that operates the Kremlin’s bodyguards and was once the KGB’s 9th Directorate. said to have arisen. Russia accuses US of hacking thousands of Apple iPhones in spy plot

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