Milan-based RCS Lab who is hired byy European law enforcement agencies developed tools to spy on private messages and contacts of the targeted devices, the report said.
Google is obviously miffed and called on European and American regulators to bring in new rules over the sale and import of spyware. Google said it had taken steps to protect users of its Android operating system and alerted them about the spyware.
"These vendors are enabling the proliferation of dangerous hacking tools and arming governments that would not be able to develop these capabilities in-house," Google said.
Apple spokesperson said the company had revoked the accounts and certificates associated with this hacking campaign.
Italy and Kazakhstan’s governments did not immediately respond to requests for comment but neither are expected to care that much.
RCS Lab said its products and services comply with European rules and help law enforcement agencies investigate crimes.
"RCS Lab personnel are not exposed, nor participate in any activities conducted by the relevant customers," it told Reuters in an email, adding it condemned any abuse of its products.
The global industry making spyware for governments has been growing, with more companies developing interception tools for law enforcement. Anti-surveillance activists accuse them of aiding governments that in some cases use such tools to crack down on human rights and civil rights.
Google researchers found RCS Lab had previously collaborated with the controversial, defunct Italian spy firm Hacking Team, which had similarly created surveillance software for foreign governments to tap into phones and computers.
Hacking Team went bust after it became a victim of a major hack in 2015 that led to a disclosure of numerous internal documents.