Apple has broken its silence on Google’s recent bombshell report exposing security flaws that could be exploited to hack iPhones. Apple says Google misrepresented the facts to “stoke fear” among its clients.
Google’s cyber security team made headlines last week when it claimed that a massive iPhone hack could have left thousands of devices compromised after their owners visited certain malicious websites. The report, which emerged shortly after an emergency security patch was issued for the latest iPhone operating system (iOS), said the vulnerability existed for at least two years.
Unhappy with the findings, Apple presented its side of the story and assured users of its products’ safety on Friday. While it did not deny that the vulnerability existed, it accused Google of misrepresenting the scope and scale of the problem.
Apple said that the rival tech firm misled the public when it claimed the attack was “exploiting iPhones en masse.” The company explained that the attack “was narrowly focused” as it regarded less than a dozen websites with content related to China’s Muslim Uighur population.
“Google’s post… creates the false impression of ‘mass exploitation’ to ‘monitor the private activities of entire populations in real time,’ stoking fear among all iPhone users that their devices had been compromised,” the iPhone maker said in a statement.
Apple also said Google exaggerated the length of time of the attacks, which lasted “for a brief period, roughly two months,” instead of the two years indicated by the rival company. The statement added that the bugs had been fixed in February, within 10 days of being notified by Google.
The clash between the two US tech giants comes days ahead of a major event in California, in which Apple is expected to present its latest products, including next-generation iPhones and Apple Watch models.