Russia claims Apple helps US spy on iPhone users

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Russia claims Apple helps US spy on iPhone users

Moscow, Russia

Russia says that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been spying on Russian officials and civilians using iPhone backdoor vulnerabilities created for the US by Apple.

The NSA has previously tried to get public opinion on its side as it objects to Apple’s refusal to give it access to user data. But now the Federal Security Office (FSB) of Russia claims that Apple has given the NSA backdoor access after all.

According to Reuters, the FSB says that it has uncovered an NSA plot that utilized previously unknown malware to access these backdoors. It’s not clear why malware would be needed if there were already backdoor access, but the FSB says several thousand iPhones in Russia were infected.

“The FSB has uncovered an intelligence action of the American special services using Apple mobile devices,” the FSB said in a statement seen by Reuters. “[Apple] provides American intelligence agencies with a wide range of opportunities to monitor any persons of interest to the White House and their partners in anti-Russian activities, and their own citizens.

Reportedly, the “intelligence action” targeted the iPhones of domestic Russian citizens, plus foreign diplomats based in Russia, including ones from Israel, Syria and China.

The FSB claims to have uncovered the NSA’s plot with the help of Russia’s Federal Guards Service, which is an agency that protects the country’s leaders.

Neither Apple nor the NSA have commented.

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