Apple Strongly Denies Stuffing iPhones And iPads With NSA Backdoors

Paul Cooper | | July 24, 2014

Apple has vociferously denied writing surveillance backdoors into iOS, the operating system used on the iPhone and iPad range of devices. The Cupertino CA-based company released a strongly-worded statement denying any collusion with the spying programmes of intelligence agencies like the NSA and GCHQ.  "As we have said before, Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products of services," Apple said in a statement.

Forensic scientist and author Jonathan Zdziarski revealed earlier this week a whole raft of backdoors, attack points and surveillance mechanisms built into iOS devices.  Speaking at the Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE/X) conference in New York, Zdziarski basically shot down Apple's claims about security and its efforts to safeguard iOS devices from police and government snooping.  Zdziarski, better known as the hacker "NerveGas" in the iPhone development community, worked as a dev team member on many of the early iOS jailbreaks, and is the author of five iOS-related O'Reilly books including "Hacking and Securing iOS Applications."

However, Apple denied all of his claims.  "We have designed iOS so that its diagnostic functions do not compromise user privacy and security, but still provides needed information to enterprise IT departments, developers and Apple for troubleshooting technical issues," the Cupertino-based company said.  "A user must have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer before that computer is able to access this limited diagnostic data..."