Responding to the NSA’s alleged “DROPOUTJEEP” program which was leaked recently, Apple has reiterated that it has not worked with any agency and was unaware of the program.
Jacob Appelbaum, a security researcher leaked a series of documents yesterday about the program which allows backdoor access to iPhones and published by German magazine Der Spiegel. DROPOUTJEEP software can be implanted on any iPhone, provides SIGINT which allows to send or receive files from the phone. The phone’s location, voice mails, contact lists also be retrieved. Camera and Microphone can be turned on without the users knowledge and data removal over wireless data connections.
The report has mentioned that the initial version requires “close access methods,” meaning that the iPhone needed to be implanted physically. This would mean that not all users are iPhone are under NSA surveillance. The slide further adds that the future versions of DROPOUTJEEP would be remotely installed by air without physical access.
Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdor in any of our products, including iPhone. Additionally we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products. We care deeply about out consumers privacy and security. Our team is continuously working to make our products even more secure and we make it easy for our customers keep thier software up to date with the latest advancements.
The slide dated 2008 indicates that the iPhone was running an early version of the iOS creating speculation about NSA’s efforts in Access Network Technology or ANT division on working in future phones and operating systems.