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Google reveals years-long ‘indiscriminate’ iPhone hack

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Google security experts uncovered an “indiscriminate” hacking operation that targeted iPhones over a period of at least two years and used websites to implant malicious software to access photos, user locations and other data.

In a post Thursday on the blog of Google’s Project Zero security taskforce, cyber experts did not name the hacked websites hosting the attacks, but estimated they received thousands of visitors a week.

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“Simply visiting the hacked site was enough for the exploit server to attack your device, and if it was successful, install a monitoring implant,” said Project Zero’s Ian Beer.

Once installed, the malicious software “primarily focused on stealing files and uploading live location data,” Beer said, adding it had been able to access encrypted messenger apps like Telegram, WhatsApp and iMessage.

Google hangouts and Gmail had also been affected, he added in the post, which provided a detailed breakdown of how the malicious software targeted and exploited iPhone vulnerabilities.

Most of the vulnerabilities targeted were found in the iPhone’s default Safari web browser, Beer said, adding that the Project Zero team had discovered them in almost every operating system from iOS 10 through to the current iOS 12 version.

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Once embedded in a user’s iPhone, the malicious software sent back stolen data, including live user location data back to a “command and control server” every 60 seconds.

Beer said Google had informed Apple of the attacks in February, and Apple subsequently released a security patch for the iOS 12.1.

Long the driver of Apple’s money-making machine, iPhone revenue overall was down 12 percent from last year to $26 billion.

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The tech giant sent out invitations on Thursday to a September event at its Silicon Valley campus where it is expected to unveil a new-generation iPhone.


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Trump’s lie about ‘doctored’ impeachment transcripts debunked by impeachment witnesses’ lawyers

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President Donald Trump on Monday falsely accused Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) of releasing "doctored" transcripts of impeachment inquiry witnesses and then bizarrely suggested that Republicans release their own versions of the transcripts.

"Shifty Adam Schiff will only release doctored transcripts," the president wrote on Twitter. "We haven’t even seen the documents and are restricted from (get this) having a lawyer."

Trump presented no evidence to back up his claim that Schiff had done something to alter the transcripts, which show that multiple administration officials testified that the Trump administration was withholding aid to Ukraine until its government agreed to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

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Republicans are sending out a ‘cry for help’ as Trump’s public impeachment hearings loom

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House Republicans’ request for witnesses in the impeachment inquiry reads more like a “cry for help” than an actual contribution to the investigation into President Donald Trump’s conduct, argued MSNBC’s Steve Benen.

He’s not wrong. The list includes:

The whistleblower“All individuals relied upon by the anonymous whistleblower in drafting his or her secondhand complaint”Hunter BidenDevon Archer, a business associate of Hunter BidenNellie Ohr of Fusion GPS, which directed the work behind the Steele DossierAlexandra Chalupa, a Democratic National Committee employee who reportedly conducted research on Paul Manafort’s work in Ukraine

Not one of these people will have information that could exonerate Trump from the mountain of evidence indicating he oversaw a vast bribery scheme aimed at pressuring the Ukrainian government into smearing and opening up investigations into his political rivals. At best, they could serve to distract from that central narrative, which documents and comments from the White House and Trump himself confirm. Creating a distraction is, of course, exactly what Republicans intend to do since they have no substantive defense of the president’s actions.

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Mulvaney may be trying to avoid prosecution with court move in case Trump loses: Legal affairs reporter

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Politico legal analyst said that one reason chief of staff Mick Mulvaney joined the lawsuit asking whether Congress or the White House reigns supreme on subpoenas is a pre-emptive strike against litigation.

Former Director of National Intelligence John Bolton is also dodging his subpoena. However, it was his deputy, Charles Kupperman, who filed the initial suit to ask the courts which branch to listen to. Mulvaney joined the lawsuit last week, but Kupperman announced that he didn't want Mulvaney to participate because he isn't exactly trustworthy.

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