- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Security researchers have found espionage spyware that has spread to Apple devices — technology that has been linked by some researchers to the Russian government.

The technology website Ars Technica reported Wednesday that “Pawn Storm” began with “spear phishing” attacks that targeted Outlook webmail pages last year.

The malware, written for iOS 7, can access photos, control voice recording components, and glean location data from compromised devices. The malware is unable to disguise itself on iOS 8 devices.

“Operation Pawn Storm is an active economic and political cyber-espionage operation that targets a wide range of entities, like the military, governments, defense industries, and the media,” the security intelligence blog TrendLabs reported.

The website said that in addition to infecting a device by hooking it up to a compromise computer, users can also fall victim to the technology by clicking imposter websites that prompt users to “Tap Here to Install the Application.”

“After being installed on iOS 7, the app’s icon is hidden and it runs in the background immediately. When we try to terminate it by killing the process, it will restart almost immediately,” TredLabs researchers said.

SEE ALSO: Russian hackers’ ‘Trojan Horse’ malware inside U.S. critical infrastructure since 2011

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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