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Apple and Android phones hacked by Italian spyware, says Google

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An Italian company’s hacking tools were used to spy on Apple and Android smartphones in Italy and Kazakhstan, Alphabet Inc’s Google said in a new report.Milan-based RCS Lab, whose website claims European law enforcement agencies as clients, developed tools to spy on private messages and contacts of the targeted devices, the report said.European and American regulators have been weighing potential new rules over the sale and import of spyware.“These vendors are enabling the proliferation of dangerous hacking tools and arming governments that would not be able to develop these capabilities in-house,” Google said.The governments of Italy and Kazakhstan did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

An Apple spokesperson said the company had revoked all known accounts and certificates associated with this hacking campaign.RCS Lab said its products and services comply with European rules and help law enforcement agencies investigate crimes.“RCS Lab personnel are not exposed, nor participate in any activities conducted by the relevant customers,” it told Reuters in an email, adding it condemned any abuse of its products.Google said it had taken steps to protect users of its Android operating system and alerted them about the spyware, known as Hermit.The global industry making spyware for governments has been growing, with more companies developing interception tools for law enforcement.

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