Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has said it discovered a US espionage operation targeting thousands of iPhones.

In a statement, the FSB claimed thousands of iPhones had been infected including those that belonged to foreign diplomats based in Russia.

“The FSB has uncovered an intelligence action of the American special services using Apple mobile devices,” the FSB announced.

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky, tweeted that “several dozen” of senior employees’ devices were infected with “new, extremely technologically sophisticated spyware”.

The company has christened the spyware “Triangulation”, which it says is carried out using an “invisible iMessage with a malicious attachment, which, using a number of vulnerabilities in the iOS operating system, is executed on a device and installs spyware.”

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By GlobalData

Kaspersky said in a blog post that the infection was traced to 2019.

“As of the time of writing in June 2023, the attack is ongoing,” he wrote.

Adding: “We are quite confident that Kaspersky was not the main target of this cyberattack.”

According to the FSB, the cyberattack demonstrated “close cooperation” between Apple and the National Security Agency (NSA).

Apple has denied the accusation, stating: “We have never worked with any government to insert a backdoor into any Apple product and never will.”

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