iSpy: Snowden leak shows how the UK tracked iPhone users


UDID identifiers could be used to link iPhones to their users. Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple has long been outspoken about the measures it goes to to keep your iPhone secure, but new documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden demonstrate how the British spy agency GCHQ was able to carry out “realtime tracking of target iPhones” — by compromising users’ computers.

Rather than directly targeting the iPhones, GCHQ agents focused their attack on the computers with which the iPhones were synchronised, enabling them to access much of the data stored on the handset. The method took advantage of flaws in Apple’s UDID (unique device identifier) system, which issued a unique code for every iPhone, linking it with its owner.

The iPhone tracking report was handed over by Snowden to a group of nine journalists — including Laura Poitras, the filmmaker behind the acclaimed documentary Citizenfour.

Why You Probably Shouldn’t Install iOS 7 Right Now [Opinion]


In the words of Apple itself, iOS 7 is the biggest change to their mobile operating system since the introduction of the original iPhone back in 2007. It’s more functional then ever, it’s prettier than ever: it’s the very definition of digital design purified and clarified down to the very basics of form merged with function.

Understandably, that means that many people are tempted to install it on their devices, either by forking over $99 for an Apple developer account or paying five or ten bucks to someone online to register your UDID for you.

We know it’s hard to wait, but you really shouldn’t do it. Here’s why.

Apple To Start Rejecting Apps That Use UDIDs And Don’t Support The iPhone 5 On May 1



Apple has warned developers for nearly a year that apps should not use UDIDs, and that they will be rejected in the future. A deadline has finally come on UDID apps, as Apple just announced they will reject any apps that use UDIDs starting on May 1st.

Another stipulation on Apple’s deadline, is that all apps must support the iPhone 5’s 4-inch display too. Here are the full notes on the deadline:

Apple Starting To Reject Apps That Use Cookies To Track Users



Apple has been historically fickle about how it lets marketers and developers track iOS users through apps downloaded from the App Store. After all of the privacy concerns were raised about the UDID device identifier back in 2011, a better solution never presented itself.

Apple eventually introduced its own Advertising Identifier for iOS device tracking purposes, but marketers still favored the unique, permanent nature of the UDID. The UDID worked so well because it was a device-specific identifier that could never be changed. Athough developers were technically banned from using the UDID to track iOS devices more than a year ago, many, many apps still use the deprecated method today.

Apple is reportedly starting to reject apps that use web cookies to track user activity in iOS. Could this mean a reinvigorated push towards the Advertising Identifier again?