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iPhone and Android phones were hacked by Italian spyware

iPhone and Android phones were hacked by Italian spyware

Hacking tools from one company based in Italy were used to spy on smartphones with the Apple and Android systems in Italy and KazakhstanGoogle reported on Thursday.

The Google threat analysis team said spyware created by firm RCS Lab targeted phones using a combination of tactics including unusual “hidden downloads” that occur without victims noticing.

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Concerns about spyware were fueled by media reports last year that some governments were using Pegasus programs from the Israeli company NSO to monitor opponents, activists and journalists.

They claim they only sell to customers with legitimate use of surveillance software, such as law enforcement and intelligence agencies,” Lookout, a mobile cybersecurity specialist, said of companies like NSO and RCS.

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In reality, such tools have often been abused under the guise of national security to spy on business executives, human rights activists, journalists, academics, and government officials.”

Surveillance investigators said they discovered in April that the Kazakh government was using Hermit within its borders to spy on smartphones, just months after anti-government protests in that country were cracked down on.

Like many spyware vendors, not much is known about RCS Lab and its clientele. But based on the information we have, it has a sizeable international presence,” added Lookout.

Evidence suggests “Hermit” was used in a predominantly Kurdish region of Syria, the mobile security company said.

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