According to security and censorship watchdog Great Fire, the latest iPhone just made its debut in China, and already new owners are being hacked by what appears to be a state-sponsored “man in the middle” attack. Though there have been many other allegedly government-backed attacks on US-based companies, presumably for commercial or political gain, this appears to be aimed at gaining iCloud identities of its own citizens, and its hard to not draw a dotted line to the recent Hong Kong protests, images and news of which were widely disseminated by mobile devices like the iPhone.
What this means for you:
Unless you are a Chinese citizen that has somehow managed to find your way to this modest blog, this particular event won’t have much impact on you. The hack is actually being perpetrated by China’s “Great Firewall” and only affects a specific, Chinese-only browser called 360 Secure Browser made by a company called Qihoo. Use of this browser is apparently mandatory for all education institutions in China. Seeing as other browsers not under the control of the Chinese government like Firefox and Chrome appear to be unaffected by the hack, it’s hard not to jump to some obvious conclusions. While the more conspiratorial among you may whisper that the American government is only a few steps behind the Chinese in this egregious breach of privacy, it’s important to note that unlike China, US-provided internet is not gated by a single, government-controlled firewall like China’s Great Firewall, nor our are students and teachers mandated to run a (allegedly) state-backed browser. However, this does not mean you should be less vigilant in protecting your security and privacy, as its quite apparent that US agencies like the NSA have no problems snooping on its citizens anyways.