How China Used iPhone Hack in Uyghur Genocide
How China Used iPhone Hack in Uyghur Genocide

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS — MIT analyzed the infamous Chaos hack that targeted iPhones and found evidence suggesting the Chinese government is using civilian hacking competitions to find new hacks for its strategic hacking program — saying that China seemed to have used such a hack as part of its genocidal strategy to erase its Muslim minority.

Here are the details: MIT's Technology Review magazine recently analyzed the infamous Chaos hack that targeted iPhones in 2018, suggesting that China used a civilian competition to create the hack and then used it to spy on its Uyghur Muslim minority.

The U.S. accuses China of committing genocide against its Uyghur population.

The magazine linked the hack to a statement made in 2017 by the CEO of the Chinese cybersecurity giant Qihoo 360, when he said Chinese hackers should stop participating in international hacking competitions, as such competitions give tech companies the chance to fix the hacks before China could use it to spy on people.

The Chinese government agreed, forbidding its hackers to participate in such competitions.

The next year the first Tianfu Cup competition was held in China, where citizens are forced by law to help Chinese spy agencies.

The magazine says that U.S. officials and tech companies later found that the prize-winning hack at that Tianfu Cup was very similar to the hack used later that year to infiltrate iPhones used by Uyghurs.

For the past seven years, China has committed human rights abuses against the Uyghur people and other minority groups in the Western province of Xinjiang.

Well-documented aspects of the campaign include detention camps, systematic compulsory sterilization, organized torture and rape, forced labor, and an unparalleled surveillance effort.

The U.S. and a number of other countries have called the actions a genocide.