U.S. intelligence said that the Chaos iPhone remote takeover exploit was used against the minority ethnic group before Apple could patch the problem.

In 2019, a Chinese security researcher working with the internet security and antivirus company Qihoo 360 unveiled an intricately woven exploit: One that would allegedly let a remote attacker easily jailbreak an iPhone X iOS 12.1. 

The researcher, Qixun Zhao, dubbed the exploit Chaos, for good reason. As this proof-of-concept video allegedly shows, a successful exploit would allow a remote attacker to jailbreak an iPhoneX, with the targeted user none the wiser, allowing the intruder to gain access to a victim’s data, processing power and more. It worked as a drive-by malware download, only requiring that the iPhone user visit a web page containing Qixun’s malicious code. 

It would have made a superb spying tool, seeing how it would let an attacker easily take control of even the newest, most up-to-date iPhones, enabling a snooper to read a victim’s messages and passwords and to track their location in near-real time. 

Source: iPhone Hack Allegedly Used to Spy on China’s Uyghurs