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Apple Disputes Google Description of a Widespread iPhone Attack

Mark Gurman

(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. disputed a recent Google security report that described an iPhone malware attack as “en masse.”

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant said Friday that the attack -- which used malware to target iPhone users who visited certain websites -- was limited to “fewer than a dozen websites.” The company also confirmed that the attack targeted the Uighur Muslim community in China.

Apple said Google’s post last week on its findings came six months after the issue was patched in iOS, the iPhone and iPad operating system, and added that the attacks were in place for “roughly two months, not ‘two years’ as Google implies.”

Later on Friday, Alphabet Inc.’s Google responded to Apple’s statement, saying it stands by “our in-depth research.”

The company’s Project Zero “posts technical research that is designed to advance the understanding of security vulnerabilities, which leads to better defensive strategies,” Google said in a statement. “Will continue to work with Apple and other leading companies to help keep people safe online.”

(Updates with comments from Google in the final two paragraphs.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Gurman in San Francisco at mgurman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Robin Ajello

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