Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Report: NSA developed software for backdoor access to iPhones

The U.S. National Security Agency was developing in 2008 a software implant for Apple iPhones that allowed the agency to take almost total control of the device, including retrieving text messages and voicemail and remotely turning on its microphone and camera, according to a report by the German magazine�Der Spiegel.

The implant, code-named DROPOUTJEEP, was ?in development? and initially intended for ?close access? installation on a phone, with remote installation being planned for a future release, according to an alleged NSA document with the date October 1, 2008, that Der Spiegel included in a graphic with its recent NSA report.

DROPOUTJEEP?s other capabilities included remotely pushing and pulling files from an iPhone, retrieving the phone?s contact list and identifying the device?s location and the location of the nearest cell tower, the document said. The implant could do all this without the phone user?s knowledge, over SMS (Short Message Service) or a GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) data connection. All the software implant?s communications would be ?covert and encrypted,? the document said.

GPRS was a pre-3G mobile data technology with speeds much lower than today?s LTE networks. The first-generation iPhone was introduced in 2007, and the iPhone 3G came out in mid-2008.

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