Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow are two Hong Kong activists and members of Demosisto, a citizen platform that resists the police of the most relevant of the Chinese special regions. After being arrested last fall, the police had access and tried to hack their mobiles, as revealed now.
Wong’s mobile is an iPhone that, after countless reports of vulnerabilities in Android, is perceived as the safest terminals available. It should not be a coincidence that the vast majority of political leaders globally use apple-brand devices, we could say.
But the truth is that the Hong Kong police, with an extensive history of access to the protesters’ devices, seems to have it easier with them. Unlike Wong’s iPhone, the police did not thoroughly investigate the content of the Google Pixel from his partner Chow. Simply put, because he couldn’t.
Hacking your mobile, a real concern
And it is that the tools to enter iPhones are much more abundant, because there is a greater exposure of these devices. Recently Apple had to increase rewards maxims of their bug bounty program to stay competitive with groups that buy the latest vulnerabilities. Now, the California firm pays up to a million dollars for each of them, a jump from the previous $ 200,000.
One of the best-known tools with the ability to hack your mobile is Israeli Cellebrite, an old acquaintance in the sector. Both it was the one used by the FBI to access the iPhone of the San Bernardino attackers in 2016, or Diana Quer’s mobile in 2017.
Of course, it is not the only company that engages in this type of activity collaborating with the security forces. However, going back to the current case, it is the one that provides the tools to the Hong Kong police. Well, it turns out that this instrument was not enough to access the Pixel by Agnes Chow, as collected by the Quartz media.
It certainly doesn’t help the fact that Wong’s iPhone was protected by a password of only four digits. However, the fact that access to an iPhone is relatively easy for the police says more of its commercial success does not say so much of its security as of its success. With close to 1 billion iPhones currently active, it’s much more profitable to focus on.
And is that the google terminal, although it does not have widely available figures, barely distributed 4 million units in 2017 according to IDC. Maybe, after all, its updates and security chips are more than enough to make it difficult for friends of others to hack your mobile. At least for now.
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