Beijing secretly organizes hacking contest to steal data from Uyghurs’ Iphone phones

The French weekly Observer website published an article titled How China tapped Uyghurs’ Iphone phones. The article said that the Beijing government offered a $200,000 reward for secretly organizing a hacking contest whose goal was how to open a tap-viewing gap in Iphone phones, and the contest eventually paid off.

In November 2018, a Chinese hacker managed to find out how to intercept information from Iphone phones from a distance. A few months ago, the U.S. security services informed Apple Group of the said information. An article published on May 6 by the MIT Technology Magazine detailed the above process, however, the article did not reveal the means through which the Chinese hacker opened the gap.

The article commented that since 2018, Chinese hackers have stopped participating in the annual international hacking competition held in Vancouver, Canada, which is a side event of the International Computer Security Conference, and it is clear that Beijing believes that the findings of Chinese hackers should be used by China’s security services.

Beijing began holding a Chinese hacking competition called the Tianfu Cup in 2018, and one hacker won the first Tianfu Cup prize for breaking the information gap in an Iphone. He called his discovery the Chaos exploit, and Chinese media called his discovery “the perfect remote jailbreak for the iPhone,” but two months later, the Apple Group quietly patched the exploit. During this two-month period, it was possible for the Chinese security services to monitor all Iphone phones, especially those of Uyghurs. Research by the U.S. government as well as Google Group shows that the above findings by Chinese hackers provided substantial assistance to the Beijing government for mass surveillance of Uyghurs.