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Apple denies knowledge of NSA program that spies on iPhones

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Apple denies knowledge of NSA program that spies on iPhones
A day after a security researcher named Jacob Applebaum, and German publication Das Spiegal revealed documents alleging that the NSA has an active plan in force to steal data from iPhones, Apple denied that it was involved in any way with the operation, or that it even knew about it. In a statement, the Cupertino based tech giant said that it has been unaware of the program, said to be called DROPOUTJEEP. Apple vowed to protect its customers from security attacks, regardless of who is behind it.

Yesterday's report claimed that the NSA has a program to intercept Apple iPhone units ordered online and then install spyware on the devices. The information picked up by the activities of the agency include contact lists and SMS messages. The agency can also pinpoint the location of an iPhone user using information from a cell tower. And the NSA is believed to have the capabilities of remotely operating the camera and microphone of an iPhone that they have "infected".

It might seem like a movie script to read about the government intercepting deliveries of iPhones ordered online, and implanting spyware in them. The NSA is believed to be working on a way to install the spyware from a remote location, without actually handling the unit it is installing spyware on.

What prompted the response from Apple were comments made on Monday by Applebaum that accused Apple of being involved in the operation. Pointing to the documents he helped make public, Applebaum said that they show that the NSA has a 100% success rate implanting spyware into iPhones. With that kind of success, the researcher feels that Apple has to be involved somewhere in the program. Apple's statement is a flat-out denial of these accusations.

"Either [the NSA] have a huge collection of exploits that work against Apple products, meaning they are hoarding information about critical systems that American companies produce, and sabotaging them, or Apple sabotaged it themselves."-Jacob Applebaum

"Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone. Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products. We care deeply about our customers’ privacy and security. Our team is continuously working to make our products even more secure, and we make it easy for customers to keep their software up to date with the latest advancements. Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers. We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them."-Apple

source: TechCrunch

25 Comments
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posted on 31 Dec 2013, 16:30 3

1. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 846; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


Not good.

posted on 31 Dec 2013, 23:54 4

13. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5289; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


What a crock of sh*t. If they are going to lie, make an attempt to be creative with the lie. Like we were subpoenaed, or something that at least sounds plausible.

posted on 01 Jan 2014, 11:31

18. stealthd (Posts: 869; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)


If they did anything they'd be legally bound not to talk about it, not even to lie about it.

posted on 02 Jan 2014, 03:55

24. Ashoaib (Posts: 644; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


For sure they will deny it, they dont want to be under bad impression by accepting it... I knew it that this will be their answer although my believe is this that they compromise theIR users data willingly thats why Obama came to rescue them against samsung... A huge reward for their cooperation

posted on 31 Dec 2013, 17:10 9

2. Sniggly (Posts: 6496; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Well now.

I'm actually disinclined to believe that Apple would willingly compromise its users' security like this. The NSA has for years been an epic group of assholes. They don't need private companies' help for that.

posted on 31 Dec 2013, 17:17 12

3. tedkord (Posts: 3942; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Willingly implies they'd have a choice. In fact, even if they had put in backdoors, they'd be legally forbidden from admitting it. Their denial means nothing.

I'm inclined to believe the NSA has forced all major OEMS to supply them with access to users info.

posted on 31 Dec 2013, 18:12

5. darkkjedii (Posts: 9321; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Ted, excellent post. If any of actually think our phones are secure from the NSA, we are sorely mistaken. Just remember guys GPS is eyes, and ears. +1

posted on 01 Jan 2014, 11:30

17. stealthd (Posts: 869; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)


They'd be legally forbidden from saying anything. The denial is evidence that they haven't been compelled to do anything.

posted on 31 Dec 2013, 21:35 2

11. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 5652; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


especially when they TRACK each of your finger print on the sensor

posted on 31 Dec 2013, 17:52

4. gnotch (Posts: 6; Member since: 31 Dec 2013)


yikes...

posted on 01 Jan 2014, 15:36

22. cheetah2k (Posts: 739; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


That feeling you get when you realise your trusty iPhone is tracking your every move.......... lol

posted on 31 Dec 2013, 18:13 4

6. darkkjedii (Posts: 9321; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Apple, you only look more guilty by denying. We're not dumb, the NSA is boss

posted on 01 Jan 2014, 11:32

19. stealthd (Posts: 869; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)


Except that when companies are forced to do things like this, they can't talk about it, even to deny (lie) about it.

posted on 01 Jan 2014, 13:38

21. darkkjedii (Posts: 9321; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


I agree with you bro, I think the NSA is pressuring. I also think apple google MS, and the rest have knowledge of it too.

posted on 31 Dec 2013, 18:26 5

7. SIGPRO (Posts: 348; Member since: 03 Oct 2012)


Apple such a bad liar! Apple and Google are both American brands, so they are a part of the patriot law. And if Apple say they did not know, i call it Bullsh!t

posted on 31 Dec 2013, 18:37 1

8. fanboy1974 (Posts: 998; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


I think Apple will not tell the truth but I also think Google and Microsoft would not tell the truth as well. I believe it would affect Apple the most because no one in public media really makes a big deal about Android because it's spread out across many OEM's. Apple is suppose to have this tight control over everything and when product launches the mainstream media makes a big deal about it. No one cares on your local news channel how good Samsung is doing. The only story mainstream media reported was the Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit; that's it.

posted on 31 Dec 2013, 18:49 2

9. Slammer (Posts: 819; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


The Government knows when we flush our toilets. This explains why the leaders of this country are full of s**t most of the time.

John B.

posted on 31 Dec 2013, 20:08 2

10. techloverNYC (Posts: 254; Member since: 20 Nov 2012)


this lie is as bad as it get..........

I will believe this lie apple, when the day obama's change campaign actually do something useful.

posted on 31 Dec 2013, 22:43 1

12. alrightihatepickingusernames (Posts: 215; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)


Wouldn't it be hilarious if next week Snowden releases documents proving a deal between the NSA and Apple?

posted on 01 Jan 2014, 01:54

14. almostdone (Posts: 94; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)


I think it's time to change OS. Time to get away from iOS, Android & Windows Phone...

posted on 01 Jan 2014, 02:02

15. andynaija (Posts: 353; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)


To a feature phone UI or Blackberry?

posted on 01 Jan 2014, 03:01 1

16. Rager722 (Posts: 95; Member since: 30 Jan 2013)


and all of you guys trust apple with your finger prints. hmpff

posted on 01 Jan 2014, 11:47 1

20. stealthd (Posts: 869; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)


Are you people really this dumb? I mean I know it's phonearena, but come on. If Apple was participating in some NSA program, willingly or not, why would they even deny it? They probably wouldn't say anything, they might not even being legally allowed to. And if Apple was participating, then why would the NSA's iphone hack involve installing malicious code through a SIM card? If they were working directly with Apple then they'd probably build in a back door that doesn't require physical access to use.

posted on 01 Jan 2014, 17:59

23. xfire99 (Posts: 368; Member since: 14 Mar 2012)


First denial of CarrierIQ and now NSA. Either they are lying, or just admit that iOS have security flaw.
But which company will admit that they are sleeping with the devil.

posted on 02 Jan 2014, 15:21 1

25. TheUndernet (Posts: 12; Member since: 26 Sep 2013)


okay...one, they took wayy to long to respond, microsoft and google responded right away, google said "yeah okay we comply with the NSA" Microsoft said "we only comply when asked" Apple did not respond....until now...why dont we ask snowden...

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