After the revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) intercepts laptop deliveries to install spyware on them and is able to hack wi-fi connections from as far as eight miles, now comes the equally disturbing report which says that the agency has had the ability of hacking iPhones since 2008.
According to this report, which has been published by the German news paper Der Spiegel, the NSA has, in its arsenal, a software implant that can record audio conversations with the iPhone’s microphone, take pictures from its camera and send them back to the NSA via SMS or GPRS data connections.
The report claims that the tool, which has “DROPOUTJEEP” as its codename, was used on the first-generation iPhones only. They probably developed a fancier version for the generations that followed, but the report makes no mention of it.
This is just one of the many spy tools that the signals intelligence monolith has in its repertoire to bypass smartphone security and exfiltrate confidential information out of it.
As expected, Apple has come forward to make it clear they had no part in this mass intrusion of privacy and that whatever the NSA did, it did without their knowledge.
The exact words of their spokeswoman Kristin Huguet were:“Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including the iPhone. Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products.”
In the midst of all this has jumped the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who, while addressing a seminar in Hamburg on Tuesday via videolink, asked the international hackers’ fraternity to unite and increase their efforts against organizations like the NSA.
And so, Round Umpteenth in this battle between the suppressor and the rebels will continue in 2014.