The past week has seen shots fired between major smartphone manufacturers Apple and Google, with Apple iPhones being targeted by a long-running malicious website hack. The security flaw was uncovered by Google’s Project Zero team, with Apple being quick to respond that Google had created “[a] false impression of ‘mass exploitation (…)“.

Ironically, it has now come to light that Google itself has also been subject to the same malicious website exploit, as well as software and hardware giant Microsoft.

Google and Microsoft both affected

The same hacks that were said to have stolen password, location and message data from iPhone’s keychain application may have also impacted users of Google and Microsoft’s products.

According to a report by Forbes, some of the sources close to the original story have revealed that the same websites also targeted operating systems running on Android and Microsoft products.

Forbes’ report also highlights how the hacks targeting each of these companies appear to have been focused around the same ethnic minority group in China, the Uighur muslim community, which has supposedly been under scrutiny by the Chinese government.

This revelation broadens the number of potential victims that could’ve been affected by the cyber attacks. Originally, Google’s Project Zero team revealed how iPhones had been compromised, with applications like WhatsApp and iMessage having data siphoned off. It was originally discovered in February, before being made public just last month.

Although the attacks were focused on a small minority group, there’s always a possibility that data belonging to other users could’ve been siphoned off. According to the original quote from Ian Beer – a member of Project Zero – that we posted last week, the hacked websites didn’t discriminate against the victims they targeted.