Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhones are particularly vulnerable to the snooping of the National Security Agency, according to security researchers. Forbes and Zero Hedge have both detailed exactly how the agency is able to do it. A program known as DROPOUTJEEP apparently makes it possible for the NSA to gain access to all of any iPhone user’s information.
How the NSA bugs Apple’s iPhones
Security researcher Jacob Applebaum (irony, anyone?) revealed the details about DROPOUTJEEP and how it works this week at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress in Germany. He said the program is basically a software implant for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone which uses “modular mission applications to provide specific SIGINT functionality.”
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In other words, this provides the NSA with the ability to remotely push or pull anything right from the iPhone, including SMS messages, contact list information, voicemails, geolocation information, camera shots and more. The communications with DROPOUTJEEP are apparently encrypted to keep them hidden. The NSA said it has had a 100% success rate in putting this malware on Apple’s iPhones.
Will Apple respond to the latest NSA revelation?
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has joined with other major technology companies on several occasions in calling for reforms to the NSA’s digital spying programs. The company has appeared to be very vocal in its push for changes, but just how much of a role did it play in this NSA program? That’s the question raised by Applebaum, who said he hoped the company would clarify this. He questioned whether Apple helped the NSA create DROPOUTJEEP, although he doesn’t believe that the company did.
However, he said either the NSA is “hoarding information about critical systems that American companies produce and sabotaging them, or Apple sabotaged it themselves.”
Apple not the only one targeted by NSA
Although Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone got much of the attention this week as the information about the NSA’s software program came out, the company isn’t the only one being targeted by the NSA. BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) devices have also reportedly been hacked by the agency, even though the Canadian company is well-known for its security. That’s according to a report from German website Der Spiegel. Android phones have also apparently been cracked by the NSA.