Researchers at Google's Project Zero yesterday lifted the curtain on a long-running mobile malware operation that for years attempted to infect iOS device users with a malware implant, using exploits delivered via a small number of compromised websites.

In an online blog post report, Google researcher Ian Beer did not reveal the specific websites that were abused in the watering-hole attacks, but said they were prominent enough to receive thousands of visits per week. The attacks were not targeted in nature, but rather indiscriminate, with the intention to infect a wide range of device owners.

Altogether, Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) found five distinct iPhone exploit chains covering versions iOS 10 through the latest version of iOS 12. "This indicated a group making a sustained effort to hack the users of iPhones in certain communities over a period of at least two years," states Beer in the blog post.

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