Apple denies working with the National Security Agency to create a backdoor into the iPhone and other products that would give the spy agency access to users’ data.
The denial is a response to leaked NSA documents published yesterday from 2008 that detail a backdoor into the iPhone called “DROPOUTJEEP.” The spyware is able to intercept data like the iPhone’s SMS messages, contacts, location, and more after being installed.
Here’s the full statement from Apple, provided by AllThingsD:
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.
Information about DROPOUTJEEP was shared yesterday by Edward Snowden-confidant Jacob Appelbaum and German publication Der Spiegel. While Appelbaum said he didn’t know if Apple had cooperated with the NSA to create the backdoor, he found it likely. “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. ”
Apple’s strongly worded statement (“malicious hackers,” etc.) indicates its attitude towards the NSA and government spying tactics. After PRISM was uncovered, Apple joined a group of other tech companies to push for greater transparency from the NSA. Apple has also published a list of the government requests for customer data it has received domestically and abroad.