Leaked documents made public on Monday by a security researcher and German publication Das Spiegel, revealed that the NSA has a program for grabbing information off of the Apple iPhone. The program, called DROPOUTJEEP, enables the NSA to access contact lists, find an iPhone user using cell tower data, and intercept SMS messages. Remotely, the government agency can operate the camera and the microphone on the handset.
The documents claim that the NSA has a 100% success rate when implanting spyware into an iOS device. Perhaps the scariest bit of information is that the NSA gets physical access to implant the spyware by intercepting Apple iPhone shipments purchased online. But that soon may longer be necessary as the spy agency is working on a way to install the spyware remotely.
"I don't really believe that Apple didn't help them. I can't really prove it yet, but [the NSA] literally claim that anytime they target an iOS device, that it will succeed for implantation. Either they have a huge collection of exploits that work against Apple products, meaning that they are hoarding information about critical systems that American companies produce and sabotaging them, or Apple sabotaged it themselves. Not sure which one it is. I'd like to believe that since Apple didn't join the PRISM program until after Steve Jobs died, that maybe it's just that they write [expletive redacted] software. We know that's true."-Jacob Applebaum, Security Researcher
The security researcher, Jacob Applebaum, says he believes that Apple has some involvement here, but says that he can't prove it. His comments can be found on the video below, starting at the 44:30 mark.