TechnologyItalian Spyware Hacked Apple and Android Phones

Italian Spyware Hacked Apple and Android Phones

An Italian company’s hacking tackles used to spy on Apple and Android smartphones in Italy and Kazakhstan, Alphabet’s Google said in a statement on Thursday.

Milan-based RCS Lab, whose website privileges European law enforcement agencies as clients.

Established tackles to spy on private messages and contacts of the targeted devices, the report said.

Google’s outcomes on RCS Lab comes as European and American regulators weigh potential new rules over the sale and import of spyware.

“These vendors are enabling the proliferation of dangerous hacking tools.

And arming governments that would not be able to develop these capabilities in-house,” Google said.

Apple and the governments of Italy and Kazakhstan did not directly answer to requests for comment.

RCS Lab said its products and services comply with European rules and help law enforcement agencies investigate crimes.

“RCS Lab personnel not exposed, nor participate in any activities conducted by the relevant customers,”

Italian Spyware:

It told Reuters in an email, adding that it predestined any abuse of its products.

Google said it had taken steps to defend users of its Android operating system and notified them about the spyware.

The global industry making spyware for governments has been increasing.

With more and more companies developing interruption tools for law enforcement organizations. Anti-surveillance activists blame them of assisting governments that:

In some circumstances are using such tools to crack down on human rights and civil rights.

The industry came under a global spotlight when the Israeli surveillance firm NSO’s Pegasus spyware.

In current years found to used by numerous governments to spy on journalists, activists, and dissidents.

Although RCS Lab’s tool may not be as surreptitious as Pegasus.

It can still read messages and view passwords, said Bill Marczak, a security investigator with digital watchdog Citizen Lab.

“This shows that even though these devices are ubiquitous, there’s still a long way to go in securing them against these powerful attacks,” he added.

On its website, RCS Lab describes itself as a maker of “lawful interception” technologies and services including voice, data collection and “tracking systems.”

It says it grips 10,000 intercepted targets daily in Europe alone.

Google researchers found RCS Lab had formerly cooperated with the controversial, defunct Italian spy firm Hacking Team.

Which had correspondingly formed surveillance software for foreign governments to tap into phones and computers.

Hacking Team went ruined after it became a victim of a major hack in 2015.

That led to a revelation of several internal documents.

In some cases, Google said it supposed hackers using RCS spyware worked with the target’s internet service provider.

Which recommends they had ties to government-backed actors, said Billy Leonard, a senior researcher at Google.

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