Apple has accused Google of fear-mongering after the search engine giant released the details of a security flaw that exposed the passwords and messages of certain iPhone users.
Last month, Google released the details of ‘watering hole attacks’ that occurred over a two-year period where hackers stole photos, emails, log-in credentials, and more from iPhones and iPads.
The breach was the result of hacked websites that would attack every iOS device that visited.
Apple fixed the vulnerability in February, shortly after it learned of it.
But it has also since been suggested the attacks weren’t limited to Apple devices, as suggested by Google – and Apple isn’t happy.
“Google’s post, issued six months after iOS patches were released, creates the false impression of “mass exploitation” to “monitor the private activities of entire populations in real-time,” stoking fear among all iPhone users that their devices had been compromised,” said Apple in a statement.
“This was never the case.”
While Apple does not deny the attacks occurred, it does question some of the details of Google’s findings.
“The sophisticated attack was narrowly focused, not a broad-based exploit of iPhones “en masse” as described,” Apple said.
“The attack affected fewer than a dozen websites that focus on content related to the Uighur community.”
Apple also claims the duration of the attacks was closer to two months, as opposed to the two years suggested by Google.
It comes just weeks after Apple was forced to issue an apology following a former Apple contractor revealing to The Guardian staff regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex from Apple’s virtual assistant Siri as part of ‘quality control’.
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