China secretly used an award-winning iPhone hack to spy on Uyghur Muslims

An acclaimed iPhone hack was utilized by the Chinese federal government to spy on Uyghur Muslims, providing Beijing total control of their phones.
An in-depth report says that Chinese white-hat hackers used to get involved in the yearly Pwn2Own contest designed to reveal and make use of zero-day security vulnerabilities. The hackers win prize money, and the issues are reported to the business concerned so that they can be repaired before details are shared openly …

The inaugural occasion was held in November 2018. The $200,000 leading prize went to Qihoo 360 researcher Qixun Zhao, who displayed an impressive chain of exploits that allowed him to quickly and reliably take control of even the newest and most updated iPhones. From a starting point within the Safari web internet browser, he found a weak point in the core of the iPhones running system, its kernel. The outcome? A remote assailant could take control of any iPhone that checked out a websites including Qixuns malicious code. Its the kind of hack that can potentially be cost millions of dollars on the open market to give criminals or federal governments the ability to spy on large numbers of people. Qixun named it “Chaos.”.

One of Chinas elite hacked an iPhone, and won public praise and a large quantity of money for doing so. Practically overnight, Chinese intelligence used it as a weapon versus a besieged minority ethnic group, striking prior to Apple could repair the problem.

The complete, in-depth report is well worth reading.
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In an interview with the Chinese news website Sina, Zhou Hongyi stated that performing well in such events represented merely an “fictional” success.

In an interview with the Chinese news site Sina, Zhou Hongyi stated that performing well in such events represented simply an “fictional” success. A remote assailant could take over any iPhone that went to a web page containing Qixuns harmful code. One of Chinas elite hacked an iPhone, and won public praise and a big quantity of money for doing so. Essentially over night, Chinese intelligence used it as a weapon against a besieged minority ethnic group, striking before Apple might repair the problem.

Apple fixed it two months later on, but an analysis discovered that it had in the meantime been utilized by the Chinese government to hack iPhones belonging to Uyghur Muslims. Apple released a low-key press release confirming this after US security found it, and reported it to the iPhone maker, but the complete degree of it wasnt known until now.

Zhou plainly had the ear of the Chinese government, as they quickly prohibited their individuals from going to overseas hacking contests, and rather produced their own.

The MIT Technology Review says all that changed in 2017, when the CEO of a large Chinese tech company implicated individuals from China of disloyalty.

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