Hackers who had taken advantage of a vulnerability in the iPhone to develop a potential cyber attack through malicious websites also targeted Android and Windows operating systems. According to Forbes news, the plan may have been part of a surveillance campaign by the Uighur Muslim community in China. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, the ethnic group has been cracked down by the Chinese government since 2016.
While the vulnerabilities in Google and Microsoft operating systems that “opened the door” to cyber attacks are still unknown, they were carried out through the same malicious websites that were part of the hacking plan for iOS, sources say. which Forbes has contacted.
According to sources, cyberattack was part of a two-year surveillance plan by the Chinese government, which may have been upgraded to the three operating systems as the Uygur community's technological habits changed, affecting more users than ever before. expected.
"The Chinese government has consistently been monitoring and imprisoning members of the Uighur population for years," Cooper Quintin, a senior member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an American organization fighting for freedom of expression, told Forbes. According to the statements made, the aim of the attacks would be to "spy on the group, its diaspora abroad, as well as the people who want to help it gain its independence."
Similarly, a source told TechCrunch that malicious websites also infected users outside the Uygur community because they were indexed on Google's search engine, prompting the FBI to warn the tech giant of their removal.
For now, it is not yet possible to know if Google was aware of the extent of the cyber-attack plans, as Alphabet's company has not yet made any statement regarding what happened.