It is no secret that tech companies such as Apple and Google don’t get along with law enforcement officials. This is because the tech companies are trying to protect the privacy of their customers by introducing new types of encryption which law enforcement agencies have a tough time cracking.
However it seems that it has not stopped the CIA from trying. According to a recent report from The Intercept, it seems that over the year, the CIA has been hard at work trying to crack Apple’s security measures that are found on the company’s iPhones and iPads. This also includes encryption keys implanted on Apple’s mobile processors and Xcode, the tool Apple used to create its iOS apps with.
According to the report, “This could enable spies to plant malicious code on Apple devices and seek out potential vulnerabilities in other parts of the iPhone and iPad currently masked by encryption.” When asked to comment, unsurprisingly neither the CIA nor Apple has come forward with any statements. Instead Apple pointed The Intercept at previous statements made by the company’s CEO regarding privacy.
The report goes on to add that in a 2012 secret annual CIA-sponsored conference known as the Jamboree, researchers gave talks on how a compromised version of Xcode could potentially allow CIA spies to steal data from the iPhone and iPad, as well as creating remote backdoors on Mac computers, and disable core security features on Apple’s products.
Unsurprisingly not everyone is happy with this. According to Matthew Green, a cryptography expert at Johns Hopkins University’s Information Security Institute, “Tearing apart the products of U.S. manufacturers and potentially putting backdoors in software distributed by unknowing developers all seems to be going a bit beyond ‘targeting bad guys.’ It may be a means to an end, but it’s a hell of a means.”
In the meantime it is unclear as to how many times the CIA has been successful in their efforts, but it is still a pretty scary thought to know that this is going on in the background.
Filed in Security.. Read more about