An Italian company’s hacking tools were used to spy on Apple Inc and Android smartphones in Italy and Kazakhstan, Alphabet Inc’s Google said in a report yesterday.
A Milan-based company called RCS Lab developed tools to spy on private messages and contacts of certain devices. Google said, “These vendors are enabling the proliferation of dangerous hacking tools and arming governments that would not be able to develop these capabilities in-house.” European law enforcement agencies are listed as clients on RCS Lab’s website.
Regulators in Europe and America have been considering possible changes to laws governing the sale and import of spyware. RCS Lab says its goods and services are in accordance with European regulations and assist law enforcements in crime investigation. “RCS Lab personnel are not exposed, nor participate in any activities conducted by the relevant customers,” the company told Reuters. It also said it deplored any misuse of its goods.
Following the disclosure, both Apple and Google took immediate action to curb further damage. Apple has invalidated all known accounts and certificates connected to this hacking attempt, according to a company spokeswoman. Google has taken precautions to safeguard Android users and informed them about the spyware. It is hoped that such hacks never threaten user privacy again.