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Google claims that hackers used Italian spyware to attack Apple and Android phones

According to a study released by Google on June 23, spyware and hacking tools from an Italian company were used to spy on Apple and Android handsets in Italy and Kazakhstan.

The business is revealed to be the Milan-based RCS Lab, which asserts to have as clientele European law enforcement authorities. According to the article, the business created capabilities to monitor the targeted devices’ private communications and contacts.

The IT behemoth with its headquarters in Mountain View, California claimed to have taken precautions to safeguard the Android operating system and warned users about the spyware. According to a representative for Apple, all known accounts and certificates linked to the hacking campaign have been revoked.

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Google will now compensate Wikimedia for better information access.

RCS Lab, on the other hand, asserted that its goods and services adhere to European regulations and support the work of criminal justice authorities. The business asserted that its employees are not exposed and that they do not take part in any of the relevant clients’ activities. It also denounced any misuse of its products.

RCS Lab promotes itself as a producer of “lawful interception” technology and services, including as tracking, data collecting, and speech systems, on its website. It manages 10,000 intercepted targets every day in Europe alone, according to its website.

The sale and import of spyware may soon be subject to new regulations, according to European and American regulators.

Also see: Multiple vulnerabilities in Google Chrome browser are once more flagged by cybersecurity watchdog

Google claimed that “these suppliers are encouraging the spread of harmful hacking tools and empowering governments that would not be able to acquire these capabilities internally.”

Researchers from Google also found evidence that RCS Lab had previously worked with the infamous, now-defunct Italian spy company Hacking Team, which had developed spying software for other countries.

In 2015, The Hacking Team was the target of a significant attack that exposed a large number of internal papers, and it has been insolvent ever since.

According to Billy Leonard, a senior researcher at Google, the hackers occasionally collaborated with the target’s ISP, which suggests that they had connections to the government.

Government spyware has been a booming global industry in recent years. More and more businesses are being accused of supporting governments that, in some situations, use these technologies to repress civil and human rights.

When it was discovered that numerous governments were using the Pegasus spyware from Israeli espionage business NSO to spy on journalists, activists, and dissidents, there was a widespread outcry against the industry.

Bill Marczak, a security researcher with online watchdog Citizen Lab, claims that even while RCS Lab’s spyware isn’t as covert as Pegasus, it can still read communications and access passwords.

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