Apple denies creating iPhone ‘backdoor’ for NSA, vows to defend users

Apple said it has not worked with the NSA to create a backdoor for access to users’ iPhones.
(Alan Diaz / Associated Press)

Apple has released a statement denying having worked with the National Security Agency to create a “backdoor” for the government to have complete access to users’ iPhones.

The Cupertino, Calif., tech giant issued the statement after another NSA surveillance program was exposed, this time by cyber security researcher Jacob Applebaum in Der Spiegel, the German news magazine.

Applebaum and Der Spiegel revealed an NSA software program called DROPOUTJEEP that they say gives the federal agency complete access to any iPhone, once it has been installed on the device.

With DROPOUTJEEP, the NSA can remotely push and pull files from an iPhone as well as retrieve text messages, contact lists, voicemails and geolocation, the magazine reported. Additionally, the software is said to allow the agency to activate an iPhone’s microphone and camera.


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After revealing the program, Applebaum said he did not think Apple would give the government that kind of access to its technologies, but because the NSA boasts a 100% success rate in its documents, Applebaum raised the suspicion that Apple may have cooperated with the agency.

Apple repsonded to the DROPOUTJEEP allegations saying it was not aware of the program and that its employees work hard to make sure users’ gadgets are secure,  according to AllThingsD.

“Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers,” the company told AllThingsD. “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.”



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