Google warns Android and iOS users about new spyware

Google warns Android and iOS users about new spyware

Google has discovered software used to spy on Android and iOS smartphone users in Italy and Kazakhstan. As reported According to the report, the Italian company RCS Lab, which works with law enforcement agencies, is responsible for the distribution of malware.

    Image source: Nathan Dumlao/

Image source: Nathan Dumlao/

Recently, European and American regulators discussed the possibility of introducing new rules to regulate the sale and import of spyware. According to Google, such “vendors” ensure the distribution of dangerous hacking tools and “arm” governments that could not develop the corresponding programs themselves. According to Reuters, the authorities of Italy and Kazakhstan have not yet responded to journalistic requests. Apple said the company has suspended all known accounts and certificates related to this hacking campaign. RCS Lab itself claims that its products and services comply with European legislation and help law enforcement authorities to solve crimes, and the company’s employees do not participate in actions of customers and condemn any misuse of their developments.

Google said the tech giant has taken steps to protect Android users, warning them about spyware being used against them. Meanwhile, the global government spyware industry continues to grow, with more and more companies developing tools specifically for government use. Human rights activists accuse them of tolerating the violation of human and civil rights.

The Israeli NSO scandal that spawned the Pegasus spyware, used by various governments and agencies around the world to spy on journalists, activists and dissidents, drew attention to the related industry. Although the RCS Lab developments are probably inferior to the Pegasus in some respects, the corresponding software is still able to at least intercept messages and passwords. RCS Lab describes itself on its website as a developer of technologies and services for “lawful interception” of voice communications and data collection. According to the company, 10,000 targets are “intercepted” every day in Europe alone.

Google discovered that RCS Lab had previously worked with the dubious, now-defunct Hacking Team, which also created spyware for foreign governments to hack smartphones and computers. The latter went bankrupt after falling victim to hackers in 2015, leading to the disclosure of many classified documents.

According to Google, RCS spyware in some cases worked with the support of local ISPs, which clearly indicates the involvement of structures supported by local authorities in surveillance.

About the author

Robbie Elmers

Robbie Elmers is a staff writer for Tech News Space, covering software, applications and services.

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