A US research and development lab that developed iOS exploits and sold them to the government reportedly enabled three former intelligence officials to develop a spying tool by delivering the technology to the United Arab Emirates.
MIT technology review reported that research and development company Accuvant was involved in a $ 1.3 million sale of an iOS exploit to the UAE. The company is now owned by Optiv, who is not currently investigated.
The trio of former US intelligence agencies agreed to fines totaling 1.6 million
In a September 14 statement, the US Department of Justice described the three as “hiring hackers” and added that they had developed a system called Karma that accesses a US company’s servers in order to “remote, unauthorized access to one of the Get dozens of “millions of smartphones and mobile devices” using iOS.
The DoJ stated that Karma was a “zero-click hack,” which means that compromised iPhone owners did not have to open, download, or click anything to activate the software.
Karma was changed in 2017 in response to an iOS update, which means devices with older versions of the operating system remained vulnerable, the DoJ explained.
Commenting on the trio’s criminal activities, Mark Lesko, deputy attorney general for the National Security Division of the US Department of Justice, explained, among other things, creating a system to gain unauthorized access to equipment and providing defense services to a foreign company without a required license.
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