June 24, 2022
An Italy-based firm's hacking tools were used to spy on Apple and Android smartphones in Italy and Kazakhstan, Google said Thursday, casting a light on a "flourishing" spyware industry.
Google's threat analysis team said spyware made by RCS Lab targeted the phones using a combination of tactics including unusual "drive-by downloads" that happen without victims being aware.
Concerns over spyware were fueled by media outlets reporting last year that Israeli firm NSO's Pegasus tools were used by governments to surveil opponents, activists and journalists.
"They claim to only sell to customers with legitimate use for surveillanceware, such as intelligence and law enforcement agencies," mobile cybersecurity specialist Lookout said of companies like NSO and RCS.