A newly discovered watering-hole campaign is targeting Apple iPhone users in Hong Kong by using malicious website links as a lure to install spyware on the devices.
According to research published by Trend Micro and Kaspersky, the “Operation Poisoned News” attack leverages a remote iOS exploit chain to deploy a feature-rich implant called ‘LightSpy’ through links to local news websites, which when clicked, executes the malware payload and allows an interloper to exfiltrate sensitive data from the affected device and even take full control.
Watering-hole attacks typically let a bad actor compromise a specific group of end-users by infecting websites that they are known to visit, with an intention to gain access to the victim’s device and load it with malware.
The APT group, dubbed “TwoSail Junk” by Kaspersky, is said to be leveraging vulnerabilities present in iOS 12.1 and 12.2 spanning all models from iPhone 6 to the iPhone X, with the attacks first identified on January 10, before intensifying around February 18.
Using Malicious Links as Bait to Install Spyware
The campaign uses fake links posted on multiple forums, all popular with Hong Kong residents, that claim to lead to…