Moscow’s Federal Security Service (FSB) earlier said it had uncovered a major American surveillance operation exploiting Apple devices The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) building Beijing. © AFP / Nobel Celis

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has expressed concern over Moscow’s revelation that US intelligence agencies have hacked iPhones to spy on foreign diplomats working in Russia, including those from Beijing.

The ministry claimed that the US has been long relying on its technological advantages to indiscriminately carry out international surveillance operations. “This calls for heightened vigilance from all countries everywhere in the world,” it stressed, when asked to comment on the issue by Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency.

On Thursday, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said several thousand iPhones that had been used in Russia were found to have been infected with malware that allowed US intelligence agencies to spy on users of the devices.

Among those affected were “foreign phone numbers and subscribers that use SIM cards registered with diplomatic missions and embassies inside Russia, including countries from the NATO bloc and the post-Soviet space, as well Israel, Syria and China,” the agency said.

The malicious program exploited vulnerabilities that were deliberately created in the system by Apple, the FSB stressed. It accused the US tech giant of “providing the American intelligence services with a wide range of opportunities to survey any persons of interest to the White House, including their partners in anti-Russian activities, as well as their own citizens.” (RT)