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Fri Dec 3, 2021, 06:38 PM

US State Department phones were hacked with NSO Group spyware

Source: CNN

Washington (CNN)The iPhones of about a dozen US State Department
employees serving in Africa were hacked with spyware developed by
Israeli technology firm NSO Group in recent months, according to a
senior US official familiar with the investigation and another source
familiar with the matter.

The State Department is in the process of trying to figure out who had
access to the hacked materials on these phones and how the hack
occurred, the US official said. It is possible that situation is the
result of the US employees getting new iPhones and the Pegasus spyware
software remaining on the devices even after they wiped them clear,
the official added.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/03/politics/state-department-nso-spyware/index.html

7 replies, 1497 views

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Reply US State Department phones were hacked with NSO Group spyware (Original post)
discocrisco01 Dec 3 OP
ItsjustMe Dec 3 #1
unc70 Dec 3 #2
ItsjustMe Dec 3 #3
speak easy Dec 4 #5
ItsjustMe Dec 4 #6
reACTIONary Dec 4 #7
kewhawaii Dec 4 #4

Response to discocrisco01 (Original post)

Fri Dec 3, 2021, 06:58 PM

1. Why Is the State Department using IPhones?

Apple iPhones can be hacked with spyware even if you don’t click on a link, Amnesty International says

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/19/apple-iphones-can-be-hacked-even-if-the-user-never-clicks-a-link-amnesty-international-says.html

Apple iPhones can be compromised and their sensitive data stolen through hacking software that doesn’t require the target to click on a link, according to a report by Amnesty International.

The report said it found evidence iPhones belonging to journalists and human rights lawyers had been infected with malware from NSO Group called Pegasus as recently as this month.

Apple fixes security flaw used to apparently hack some of its products, including the iPhone
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/iphone-hack-apple-fix-security-flaw-mac-watch-software/

Apple released a critical software patch to fix a security vulnerability that researchers said could allow hackers to directly infect iPhones and other Apple devices without any user action.

Researchers at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab said the security issue was exploited to plant spyware on a Saudi activist's iPhone. They said they had high confidence that the world's most infamous hacker-for-hire firm, Israel's NSO Group, was behind that attack.

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Response to ItsjustMe (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 3, 2021, 10:53 PM

2. iPhone is still far more secure than alternatives

It was remarkable that the iPhones were hacked by NSO. It is unremarkable when other phones are hacked. Happens all the time. While every device is ultimately vulnerable, Apple at least makes it a challenge.

The AHs at NSO are unprincipled and pure evil. Very talented, but a plague in society.

Now retired, I was an expert in this field.

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Response to unc70 (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 3, 2021, 11:35 PM

3. iPhone is still far more secure than alternatives

Would you care to back up that falsehood with some evidence.


I could find no evidence that IPhones are more secure than any other Phone.

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Response to ItsjustMe (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 01:11 AM

5. Android has anti-virus software

because it is vulnerable to 3rd party virus attacks. You don't need Pegasus to hack an Android phone.

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Response to speak easy (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 01:55 AM

6. Don't assume your iPhone is safe from hackers

Don’t assume your iPhone is safe from hackers

Now, multiple reports based on a leak of 50,000 phone numbers belonging to people said to be potential targets — including journalists, dissidents, human rights advocates, and heads of state — say that thousands of iPhones may have been hacked by Pegasus. This sophisticated spyware, which was developed by the Israeli intelligence firm NSO Group, can harvest a target’s phone’s data, access their location, and record them through their microphone and camera without their knowledge — and without a target even clicking a link.


iPhone calendar spam attacks on the rise

Recently, we have seen an increasing number of reports from iPhone users about their calendars filling up with junk events. These events are most often either pornographic in nature, or claim that the device has been infected or hacked, and in all cases they contain malicious links. This phenomenon is known as “calendar spam.”

Calendar spam became a big problem for Apple’s iCloud calendars back in 2016. At that time, Apple put some protections in place on iCloud to prevent these issues. Whatever they did was working, up until recently. Let’s take a look at how the scammers have changed their tactics.

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Response to ItsjustMe (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 09:53 AM

7. You are right, it's not safe from hackers...

... it is a lot MORE safe from hackers. That's why the gov had to shell out a big chunk of change to crack the iphone that was issued to the terrorist shooter in CA some number of years ago. Even though the phone was actually owned by the gov. That's why a top tier Israeli tech firm can charge so much to compromise them.

Apple has made security and privacy part of their brand's selling points, and they are good at it.

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Response to ItsjustMe (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 4, 2021, 12:57 AM

4. You should look at....

the compromised rat's nest that is Android. People use cell phones, iPhones or others, in the field. They don't sit at their desks all day.

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