Researchers claim Apple can read iMessages, Apple denies it

Researchers claim Apple can read iMessages, Apple denies it
During this whole NSA spying mess there has been a lot of attention paid to various messaging services and the security implementations of each. One service that was thought to be immune to NSA spying was Apple's iMessage, but researchers are claiming that Apple can in fact read your iMessages if it wants. Not surprisingly, Apple denies the claims.

The original claim by Apple was that no outside parties could read iMessage chats because the messages were encrypted on one device and not decrypted until they hit the receiver's device. However, on Thursday researchers from QuarksLab put on a presentation called "How Apple Can Read Your iMessages and How You Can Prevent It." The team apparently reverse-engineered iMessage and found that the encryption used is extremely strong and could probably only be cracked by exploits available only to agencies like the NSA.

But, the team also says that because Apple controls the entire infrastructure, it could potentially set up such an exploit fairly easily and be able to read your messages. Of course, Apple was quick to jump on this claim and released a statement to AllThingsD saying:


So, theoretically, Apple could read your iMessages if it wanted, but there's no real reason why it would want to. We can't really see any benefit to Apple breaking its own security, just like we can't see any benefit to Google screwing over users by exploiting the data that it holds. Protecting user data is good business these days, and we think these big companies understand that.

source: Ars Technica & AllThingsD

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36 Comments

1. spo

Posts: 19; Member since: Apr 25, 2009

The easiest way for Apple to read your iMessages is to log in to iMessage with your Apple ID which I'm sure is easier for them to do then re-engineering the infrastructure of iMessage.

6. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

24. eN16HTMAR3

Posts: 253; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

To bad it's a Apple.

27. vincelongman

Posts: 5723; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Those are Geekbench 3 scores. Why didn't they test more new phones, there is only the LG G2. Heres some more Geekbench 3 scores Note 3: 2937 (they boasted this one) Z Ultra: 2670 Xperia Z1: 2638 iPhone 5s: 2561 LG G2: 2243 http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_note_3-review-996p6.php

12. takeja

Posts: 35; Member since: Aug 16, 2013

You can not trust a word coming from Apple= liars, thieves, Steve Jobs: "we are shameless about stealing"

13. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

have you considered that it could have a different contextual meaning than the one intended? I believe you can be smarter than this

18. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I think the author is contradictory here. Google can track and keep infinite amounts of data on you and yet I see no finger pointed at them.

19. Googler

Posts: 813; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

Maybe because the article is about iMessages. Just a thought.

28. 90ninjas unregistered

Probably because there's a lot of articles already that give Google a thumbs down for data security?

34. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

And he said that it's in neither companies best interest to violate their customers privacy. Is it just that no company can be on the same level as Apple in your mind? He's saying that neither appears to be in the wrong here.

2. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

I'm not surprise at all. Beside I don't see a big problem at all, if Apple actually read my message.

15. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

If you are fine with entities like NSA, CIA, FBI, etc. reading your iMessages, then no worries. Personally, I don't like the snooping. There is a controversy going around about a TSA screener who was taking pictures looking up female travellers skirts - just because he could.... Do you want someone from a govt. agency browsing your iMessages just because they can?

31. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

For some reason, I doubt the NSA, CIA, and FBI will be reading iMessages just for fun.

32. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

How about the circumstance where an agent of one of the alphabet soup agencies is dating an owner of an iPhone? Don't you wonder if they would be just the slightest bit curious about what their paramour was saying in their iMessage comms? Think it didn't happen? Here is some bedtime reading for you:http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/08/23/nsa-officers-sometimes-spy-on-love-interests/ There is even an acronym for the practice - LOVEINT.

3. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

I phone = eye phone=illumanati phone siri spelled backwards is IRIS which is a part of the eye= apple is illumanati, their watching you lol

4. cdgm2509

Posts: 30; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

i just don't know what "ilumAnati" is

5. rawbow

Posts: 428; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

Read Dan Brown's da vinci code or angles and demons, don't remember which one but yeah great read.

7. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

wtf is this all about?

8. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

wtf is this all about?

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 31298; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

16. Penywyz

Posts: 255; Member since: Aug 13, 2013

I fail to see the correlation of a third party created app to Apple reading your text messages.

22. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Two wrongs don't make a thing right.

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 31298; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Beware

25. eN16HTMAR3

Posts: 253; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

Fantastic. LOL.

9. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

"So, theoretically, Apple could read your iMessages if it wanted." Theoretically any company can read any user is doing. Google can log into your Gmail account, Microsoft can log into your Outlook account, Verizon/AT&T/etc. can read all your phone logs and listen to your voicemails. Theoretically any of this can happen, hopefully your tin foil hat helps keep you sleep at night.

33. cc3493

Posts: 158; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Mock people all you want but you need to realise that privacy is a big deal to a lot of people. Hopefully your ignorance will help you sleep at nigh. Ignorance = Bliss.

14. illusionmist

Posts: 157; Member since: Jan 29, 2013

Saw some of the renowned iPhone hackers talk about this on Twitter earlier. @planetbeing said that he "suspect there is a way to architecture it without so much issues." And @chpwn said "based on the description, I actually think that Apple secured it as best they could (given the UX limitations)."

17. Penywyz

Posts: 255; Member since: Aug 13, 2013

Privacy has been pretty much non existent since smartphones blew up and social mediums became as big as they are now, so I don't understand why people would be so up in arms about this. The fact is just owning a smartphone you are giving another group of individuals all the personal information they need to find out anything want to about you... I'm not surprised if Apple is indeed doing this, but I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung, Google, HTC, and or LG were doing this and or something similar too.

20. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

Oh dear.....now can we stop about Google spying on everyone.....apple does it too now stop the pointless flame wars!

21. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

All FREE servcies are based on "SELL YOUR SOUL" business policy.

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