NSA has "backdoor access" to iPhones


I don’t necessarily believe Apple.


Jake Applebaum spells it out in his 30c3 talk on the militarization of the net: http://youtu.be/b0w36GAyZIA

I don’t think that Apple cares about surveillance; but do you think that they want anything they don’t approve sullying the purity of an iDevice? If they collaborated with the NSA, NSA employees might be able to jailbreak their devices!


I believe Apple, but who’s to say the NSA didn’t secretly force an Apple engineer to help them develop an exploit? Since the NSA seems to have unlimited power when it comes to surveillance, everything is possible.

One can only hope that the recent court decisions (one against the NSA, one in support) are forcing real consideration of the issue at high levels in the government. We may be seeing the downward slope of NSA surveillance soon, I hope. Of course even if that’s the case they’ll be back after some other national emergency.

Snowden’s slide says the exploit is “under development” but everyone is reporting like it exists.

Does it offset the value of being paid by the NSA?

There are jailbreak apps that do the same thing as this. You can buy them for your own iPhone so that they function like a more powerful version of “find my iPhone.” One in which you as the user can remotely turn on your mic and camera to see who stole your iPhone. All this article implies to me is that the NSA has access to the same tools as regular users. If it were a remote exploit then this would be news but if I had physical possession of your device I could do the same thing. Nothing to see here.

it’s worth noting that the slide is from about a year after the first iphone was released. sounds more like wishful thinking on the NSA’s part, really. there’s no way this actually happened.

The NSA was reporting 100% effectiveness exploiting iPhones. I don’t think they’re the ones guilty of wishful thinking.

Remember the first iPhone, the one that could be rooted just by visiting a website with a maliciously crafted .tiff file on it?

Given the sort of neat tech toys that the NSA is known to have, does that strike you as an especially hard target for them?

Even so, my iPhone will still technically be a virgin, right?

Citation, please. The leaked slide says no such thing.

The Daily Dot’s article.

According to leaked documents, the NSA claims a 100 percent success rate when it comes to implanting iOS devices with spyware. The documents suggest that the NSA needs physical access to a device to install the spyware—something the agency has achieved by rerouting shipments of devices purchased online—but a remote version of the exploit is also in the works.

There’s more than one document (but we knew that, eh?). The Dot does miss an implication, though - not all “devices” are bought online, so intercepted shipments alone are unlikely to lead to a 100% success rate. That gives you a choice: you can choose to disbelieve that 100% figure, or you can suspect that NSA has worked out a guaranteed way into those devices. Given that, even in bureaucracies where inflated claims tend to be the norm, a claim of 100% of anything tends to raise eyebrows and require serious justification, I know which side I come down on.

My favorite part of Apple’s response isn’t that they plan to rectify the security exploit, but that they are denying collaboration in producing it. That sound like a guilty conscience to me.

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