Apple colludes with NSA to spy on Russians: FSB
Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) says it has uncovered a plot by the US's NSA to spy on Russians in the country by utilizing malware present in Apple phones.
Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) announced Thursday that it had exposed a purported operation by the US National Security Agency (NSA) involving the use of undisclosed malware to exploit specific backdoor vulnerabilities in Apple smartphones.
The FSB stated that several thousand Apple phones, including those owned by Russian nationals, had been infected as a result of this operation.
According to the Russian intelligence agency, the targets of this scheme extended beyond domestic subscribers, encompassing the mobile devices of foreign diplomats stationed in Russia and former Soviet Union territories. These diplomats spanned various countries and "Israel", including NATO member states, Syria, and China.
In an official statement, the FSB declared that it "uncovered an intelligence action by the American special services utilizing Apple mobile devices."
At the time of reporting, Apple and the NSA had not provided immediate responses to requests for comment outside regular US business hours.
The FSB further asserted that this discovery showcased the close relationship between Apple and the US National Security Agency, which assumes responsibility for cryptographic and communications intelligence and security within the United States.
According to the FSB's statement, "The company provides American intelligence agencies with a wide range of opportunities to monitor any persons of interest to the White House and their partners engaged in anti-Russian activities, as well as their own citizens."
The FSB added that assistance from the Federal Guards Service, the agency responsible for protecting Russia's leaders, played a pivotal role in uncovering this operation.
US spies on allies
In April, leaks of various Pentagon files took the world by storm, as it was discovered that the US was spying on personnel and institutions including those of its allies.
According to Politico, officials from London, Brussels, Berlin, Dubai, and Kiev requested answers from Washington about the leak. They also asked whether the Biden administration was taking appropriate measures to limit the spread of future intel.
As of Monday, US officials informed their allies that the investigation was still underway and that they were still determining the full extent of the leak, as per European sources.
Distress on the part of the Ukrainians has been particularly high because the majority of the documents focused on the conflict in Ukraine.
"This case showed that the Ukrainians have been absolutely right about that," one of the European sources told Politico. "Americans now owe the Ukrainians. They have to apologize and compensate."
Die Zeit and ARD cited a leaked Pentagon document revealing information that the US collected intelligence on talks between the German and Chinese militaries, in particular, a meeting between German Defense Ministry officials and a Chinese People's Liberation Army delegation in February.