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Apple Denies Helping NSA Subvert iPhone

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the at-least-we-have-a-falsifiable-hypothesis dept.

Iphone 284

New submitter aissixtir sends word that Apple has responded to allegations that the NSA has backdoor access to iPhones. Apple said, "Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone. Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products. ... Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers. We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them."

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284 comments

They can't stop unlockers (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45833969)

What makes you think they could stop the NSA?

Re:They can't stop unlockers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45833999)

Not to mention Apple actually have an atrocious security record and are probably leading from the WRONG end. They have a pretty good virus and malware record but that is more despite their atrocious security practises not because of them.

Re:They can't stop unlockers (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834371)

Apple loses every single pwn2own competition, so yeah, it is pretty ridiculous that they claim to have industry leading security.

Re:They can't stop unlockers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834519)

Of course there's an inherent bias there, in that the most desirable prize is for cracking the Apple product.

Re:They can't stop unlockers (5, Informative)

MacDork (560499) | about 3 months ago | (#45834079)

I hate how this story has warped into an Apple bash. Go watch the original presentation. [youtube.com]

Jacob Applebaum detailed the latest revelations on the NSA at 30c3 wherein he describes software to launch automated malware attacks "designed for at scale explotation" which is being used for "fishing expeditions, it's more like fishing crusades ... targeting Muslims." He describes NSA drones being used to wirelessly compromise wifi routers from a distance of 8 miles. Also mentioned, the NSA is shipping compromised American hardware ordered online including iPhones, Dell PowerEdge servers, HP servers, Solaris servers, and more. He wraps up the talk mentioning "a specialized technology for beaming energy into you and the computer systems around you" to compromise systems. Up to 1KW of energy specifically. It's clear from his presentation that what the NSA is doing is not just passive collection. It is not the digital equivalent of a wiretap. It is the digital equivalent of a drone firing a hellfire missle on you.

Apple is a very small aspect of this story. The NSA has militarized the internet.

Re:They can't stop unlockers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834257)

Five minutes ago
I heard a sound
It came from below
The chair?
No
It came from my asshole!
A fart shot out!
Who shot the fart?
Extraterrestrials, illegal aliens, or both?
No
It was me myself!
The legends are true
I am
The Man Who Farted Out of His Own Asshole

Re:They can't stop unlockers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834535)

it took your 34 minutes to come up with THAT?!?

Re:They can't stop unlockers (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 3 months ago | (#45834487)

I hate how this story has warped into an Apple bash.

Well, it's because all the Android owners are enjoying this opportunity, secure in the knowledge that their Java-based apps are keeping their personal information safe!

Re:They can't stop unlockers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834511)

well you won't last long here, the voice of reason is NOT appreciated.

Re:They can't stop unlockers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834515)

The apple angle is the NSA slide that states that they can always break into apple software everytime - a guarantee that is being given here by the NSA.

The question is how can they guarantee being able to hack/break it 100% of the time.

Now that is different from where they have found a backdoor that might get blocked etc or a method that was not deliberately created by the company and may work only work 99% of the time

Re:They can't stop unlockers (1, Troll)

EdIII (1114411) | about 3 months ago | (#45834597)

What Apple deserves to be bashed over is the ridiculous claim of industry leading security.

That's the part that's hilarious.

It's as funny as Ford using the Pinto as an example of industry leading automobile safety...

Re:They can't stop unlockers (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 3 months ago | (#45834567)

What makes you think they could stop the NSA?

What makes you think they ever want to stop the NSA ?

Re:They can't stop unlockers (3, Insightful)

craigminah (1885846) | about 3 months ago | (#45834619)

What makes you think Apple would break the law and admit they helped the NSA (sure they signed NDA beforehand)?

Sorry Apple. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45833975)

Don't believe you.
It's now proven most American companies can't be trusted.

Re:Sorry Apple. (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 3 months ago | (#45834043)

"Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple's industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers"

Best laugh I've had all day.

Re:Sorry Apple. (4, Insightful)

dk20 (914954) | about 3 months ago | (#45834329)

Remember when you could jailbreak your iphone by simply going to a website? Industry-leading for sure...

Re:Sorry Apple. (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about 3 months ago | (#45834615)

Remember when you could jailbreak your iphone by simply going to a website? Industry-leading for sure...

It's all relative... What company hasn't been hacked recently?

Re:Sorry Apple. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834689)

Right, but then, do you remember a time when you couldn't have a windows machine pwned by visiting a web page? There's also plenty of instances of Linux being remotely comprisable this way. Which operating system do you know of that hasn't been exploitable at some point by visiting a web page?

Re:Sorry Apple. (1)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 3 months ago | (#45834167)

Don't believe you.
It's now proven most American companies can't be trusted.

I for one, either believe them, or think it doesn't matter. It doesn't take infiltrating every member of the company to accomplish what the NSA has. A very very small number of high ranking employees can be compromised, and effectively compromise the main products and services of the corporation. While open source and open development is still vulnerable to this same threat vector, I think its decreased threat surface will make it a formidable contender in the post-snowden tech era.

Only if China and Russia are exposed similarly. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 3 months ago | (#45834641)

When we start hearing of damning leaks of Chinese and Russian military/intelligence being exposed, then you might have a point.

It would most certainly vindicate those who saw China walking out with Nortel IP and putting it into a government-run Huawei.

Apple iOS vs. Blackberry (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834177)

Don't believe you.

Rhetorical question: why not?

If the "amateurs" can compromise iOS security, the professionals shouldn't have much of a problem:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pwn2Own

Physical access to the iPhone was mentioned, so that's not surprisingly that the NSA can get at the data.

Blackberrys were also mentioned in the "Spiegel" article, but that was actually about getting at the e-mails via compromising the BES server. So it looks like in the case Blackberry, the crypto (both over-the-air and on-device) is secure. Which isn't too surprising given that RIM/Blackberry owns Certicom and uses ECC crypto (which the NSA has been pushing with Suite B), and given that BB has EAL 4+ certifications (and iOS does not):

https://www.google.ca/search?q=blackberry+EAL

However, in Pwn2Own BBs were compromised by visited exploit-filled websites.

Re:Sorry Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834323)

Nice troll, but you're stupid if you trust anybody or anything with secrets, period.

Re:Sorry Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834445)

sorry to say - but NSA infected all devices - take a look at Huawei router - NSA modify the boot bios
and would you trust Huawei router?

This could be true (4, Interesting)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about 3 months ago | (#45833977)

Well, since Apple is aware that whatever they claim can be sooner or later verified by checking Snowden data, they could be telling the truth.

Re:This could be true (5, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#45834081)

Like RSA they will just keep denying it and hope there is nothing to directly contradict them. They may well be telling the truth, but we can't be sure now and maybe even Apple don't know that one of their engineers was compromised and forced to work for the NSA.

We know that iphones kept location logs, for example. Apple claimed it was done in error... Perhaps a deliberate error by an NSA agent in their ranks, but we will probably never know.

Re:This could be true (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834255)

Perhaps they are constrained by law and couldn't release the truth if they wanted to.
 

Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone. (Once the NSA backdoored the iPhone, we didn't fix it) Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products(In this case, 'we' refers to the marketing department and the guy that brings the bagels) ... Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers. We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them. Securing out products against the non malicious, non attacking survailence by the NSA would be inappropiate, of course.

Snowden allegations == questionable. (0)

sethstorm (512897) | about 3 months ago | (#45834627)

The only valid response to Snowden allegations are to dismiss them and consider them disinformation as long as he is not in US custody. Once he is in a court based on US law (the only one that matters as opposed to the court of public opinion) then all of that can be used as evidence against him.

(Of course, /. would rather silence any dissent with -Infinity, Disagree from the idolatry of Snowden even if truth.)

I wish I could believe that (3, Insightful)

Sean (422) | about 3 months ago | (#45833989)

But I can't.

Re:I wish I could believe that (0, Flamebait)

Fantasio (800086) | about 3 months ago | (#45834513)

Apple response is not surprising, it's just not targeted to you. This response has been carefully crafted and targeted to the Apple customer who'll believe anything coming from Apple, no question asked. Remember, Apple knows better than you what is good for you, because they know more about you than yourself .....except maybe after the NSA.

Re:I wish I could believe that (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about 3 months ago | (#45834705)

What the hell? You must not read any Apple blogs. Apple's customers constantly bitch and complain to and about Apple. The problem is most of them feel they have nowhere else to go. Windows is so fucked and Linux is too much trouble for most of them.

First Denial I've Heard... (1)

rizole (666389) | about 3 months ago | (#45834001)

....which might not be to say much but I'm not sure I've heard anyone else saying "Not Me!". That could be down to the non-discolures of course.

non-denial denial? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834003)

They didn't say there was *not* an NSA backdoor. All they said was that they didn't work with the NSA to create one.

Re: non-denial denial? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834059)

Even the "news" about what the press is calling a backdoor never stated that Apple helped create it. What the guy (and the docs from Snowden) said was that the NSA was successful installing malware (that included back door access to many, many things) 100% of the time when they had physical access to the device. This should not be surprising to anyone here and should be even easier on devices that allow trivial access to root.

Now, the guy who talked about this on stage stated (while admitting he had absolutely no evidence for this) that he believed Apple probably helped. Given the lack of evidence this claim is almost certainly libelous/slanderous, but so goes life. People should really work harder to examine facts instead of letting their dislike for a company determine what is true or not.

Re:non-denial denial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834249)

"Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone."

Okay... thats fair.

Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products.

Translation: We have never heard of this one, but ...

We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them.

Translation: evad3rs are the ones to be concerned with as they probably sold a backdoor into your phone to Chinese pirates. Is the NSA malicious?

Because, of course... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834009)

Because, of course, when your domestic intelligence agency asks you to do something, and you comply, you then also admit to it the first time someone questions your integrity.

It's almost as useful as government departments (esp. intelligence agencies) issuing press releases declaring that they only do what's in their mandate and according to the law.

Trust no one, but assume innocence until proven guilty. So, while nobody should trust Apple devices with sensitive data, any direct accusation must be backed up with evidence. It's then up to Apple to defend itself by attacking the evidence. What we have here is neither.

Totalitarian Business Model for Totalitarians (1, Troll)

melchoir55 (218842) | about 3 months ago | (#45834039)

Apple is *proud* of its totalitarian business model, which is politely referred to as a "walled garden". Live in our little apple world where no one is free! No freedom means safety! You don't have to worry about bad words, or nipples, or someone pointing out that Jesus probably got laid all the time! We have complete control and domination over everything which operates in our ecosystem!

The apple philosophy is perfectly consistent with that of the NSA, the security state, and fascism in general. Add on some friendly govt subsidies and freedom to continue abusing the hell out of the american tax system...

Re:Totalitarian Business Model for Totalitarians (5, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 3 months ago | (#45834133)

This could be part of the reason the Whitehouse waived the patent decision against them.

Re:Totalitarian Business Model for Totalitarians (0)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 3 months ago | (#45834463)

It's sad that you're getting modded as troll, as you're quite correct. People here constantly say that they appreciate what Apple is doing in requiring approval of all software, and in not allowing alternative software sources. It's very much the same as the people that say "I don't mind the NSA spying on me as I have nothing to hide", not thinking of the future where you have no alternatives.

Re:Totalitarian Business Model for Totalitarians (3, Insightful)

dugancent (2616577) | about 3 months ago | (#45834611)

It's not even in the same ballpark. Likening a the idea of a company checking out apps before you install them is nothing like having a government entity, with no accountability, recoding you every time you take a shit.

Get real.

Re:Totalitarian Business Model for Totalitarians (1)

jythie (914043) | about 3 months ago | (#45834505)

Since breaking out of their walled garden is as easy as buying a competing device, and even still have access to the same phone network, calling it totalitarian is kinda out there.

Obama could stop this with an executive order (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834045)

Why doesn't he?

Re:Obama could stop this with an executive order (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834185)

It's nearing funny how everyone, including the president, is a wussy-ass in America, and does nothing to stop what NSA is doing. Well, enjoy your country.

Re:Obama could stop this with an executive order (2)

Fantasio (800086) | about 3 months ago | (#45834523)

(why doesn't he ?)......Because he received a gag order from the NSA !

Re:Obama could stop this with an executive order (0)

rubycodez (864176) | about 3 months ago | (#45834673)

He is an Uncle Tom; a bitch of mega-corporations run by white fat cats.

Aha (1, Troll)

theweatherelectric (2007596) | about 3 months ago | (#45834049)

Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products

So Apple has worked for the NSA to create a backdoor in their products. I understand.

Denying the wrong thing (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834053)

They should say there is no backdoor, not that they did not help making one.

Re:Denying the wrong thing (2)

The Real Dr John (716876) | about 3 months ago | (#45834211)

Absolutely, this is the most absurd spin on the story I can think of. It really doesn't matter if they didn't assist the NSA. And it doesn't reassure that they say they will work hard to prevent all hacking. If this has been going on as reported, then Apple did not do a very good job of "staying ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks." Obviously Apple didn't do any worse than any of the companies mentioned in the Der Spiegel article, but they didn't do any better either.

Re:Denying the wrong thing (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 3 months ago | (#45834669)

Agreed. This is virtually an admission. Not that a USA-based corporation has the freedom to admit that kind of thing.

On the "plus" side, well --- uh --- ok then I'm not sure what that could be so Nevermind ...

So which is it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834055)

Does Apple produce bad software which is trivially exploited (given that exploit is unconditional and for any and every current model) or did they do a decent job of security and been compelled to assist the NSA and keep it private?

Wording /might/ be a bit off (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | about 3 months ago | (#45834057)

The first thing noticed with all the other Snowden releases was how pathetic the gov worded things 'We aren't spying right now, and won't be in the future'. ok... but... that extra tense you missed....


I'm sure there's legal coverage for all of these people to flat out lie, and as shown, most of them have been, but the gov has their back, and I'm sure the wording of things signed meant they were compelled to lie.
So they hit up Google/Microsoft/Cisco, and Apple is the only one who didn't turn over their information when forced to and doesn't even know what all this is about? Yeah, right. Need to do better to earn our trust, as I'm sure the next leak will show that Apple not only knew, but probably gave them the docs to allow this to occur.

Who's the enemy? (5, Insightful)

mariox19 (632969) | about 3 months ago | (#45834105)

This rogue agency will destroy billions upon billions of dollars worth of American commerce before its done.

Re:Who's the enemy? (4, Interesting)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 3 months ago | (#45834675)

It is a government that prints trillions upon trillions in debt notes, I'm not sure they would notice "billions".

Kind of like how I don't notice dropped pennies ...

Blackberry had government contracts (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 3 months ago | (#45834109)

I seem to recall Apple recently acquired a certain type of government security approval. I wonder if any of that is related.

Why so sure of a social/legal component? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834129)

Appelbaum acts as if there could be no other way, as if it isn't possible for the NSA to hack into things the old-fashioned way. It's kind of telling about his bias, hmmm? He doesn't want to believe that the NSA can hire smart people who work really hard to hack into anything and everything. He doesn't want to believe that government contractors aren't just ripping off the government.

Read the wording carefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834147)

As expected read the wording carefully and think of possibilities that aren't covered.

"We didn't work with the NSA on the back door", we put it in all by ourselves.

"We don't know about the NSA targeting our products", why would they need to we give them what they want.

We SWEAR we didn't just comply with an NSA order.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834151)

...We're just entirely incapable of implementing a modest semblance of security to our devices.

Seriously? Why do we keep hearing companies swearing left and right that they're entirely incompetent?

If it were me, I'd be covering up incompetences left and right with "the NSA made me do it". At this point, we know how persuasive they can be to companies when they care to be. Seems an easy cop out.

Gag Order (5, Insightful)

ebonum (830686) | about 3 months ago | (#45834175)

Working with the NSA most likely comes with a caveat: "you follow this gag order or we will put you in jail for interfering with national defense and releasing classified information." In other words, something almost as bad as giving aid to the enemy.

I hate conspiracy theories, but it is plausible that they are under a secret order from a secret court ordering them to deny everything. This is precisely why in the US we should never every have secret courts.

Re:Gag Order (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834459)

Working with the NSA most likely comes with a caveat: "you follow this gag order or we will put you in jail for interfering with national defense and releasing classified information." In other words, something almost as bad as giving aid to the enemy.

I hate conspiracy theories, but it is plausible that they are under a secret order from a secret court ordering them to deny everything. This is precisely why in the US we should never every have secret courts.

This is almost certainly the case, not just for Apple, I imagine that any large technology company in the US has been required to cooperate with the NSA, and not say a word about it.

Which is a shame, because its about to hurt international business badly. All that boogey man shit we used to shout about not buying Chinese routers cause they might be spying on us just got proved true for the US.

Government has overstepped here, it did was was good for the government instead of what was good for the nation. Undermining trust in international business on this scale was simply stupid. The Feds don't give a shit about our privacy, that's no secret, but now they are messing around with a lot of money. The money will push back.

Re:Gag Order (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834473)

How is that plausible? There's no legal mechanism to do that.

Re:Gag Order (4, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 3 months ago | (#45834555)

How is that plausible? There's no legal mechanism to do that.

Joseph Nacchio. If you don't cooperate with the NSA, the SEC finds something to put you in prison for.

That's the whole point of Three Felonies A Day [amazon.com].

of course their going to deny it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834179)

the NDA they are forced into is punishable by jail time due to the way the Patriot Act works.

The Difference (1, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 3 months ago | (#45834183)

Apple products: The NSA may be able to access your data.

Android Products: Everyone else AND the NSA can access your data.

Re: The Difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834263)

The most refreshing thing is how big a deal an Apple vs. Android struggle has become for your likes. Running scared, eh?

Apple, have you heard of Mandy Rice-Davies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834187)

Really, these hi-tech companies should learn a bit of history, lest they come up with public statements that make them look stupid without adding a whit to their credibility.

It's the cellular baseband to worry about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834189)

Even if Apple isn't working with the NSA, the cellular baseband manufacturers probably are, so regardless what phone you are using, your in the same boat! (Forget iOS, Android, Linux, etc, it's the baseband controller and associated OS that is interesting if you want to snoop!)

Not directly... But... (2)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 3 months ago | (#45834191)

https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/Security/Conceptual/cryptoservices/Introduction/Introduction.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40011172-CH1-SW1 [apple.com]
Cryptographically strong random number generation
Encryption and decryption (both general-purpose and special-purpose)

https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/security/conceptual/cryptoservices/cryptoservices.pdf [apple.com]
[Page 10]
"elliptic curve encryption",

RSA random number generator = keys to palace...

.

What are the attack vectors (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 3 months ago | (#45834201)

What are the particular security vulnerabilities that the DROPOUTJEEP program exploits to install the NSA rootkit? Are those vulnerabilities still hiding in the iOS operating system?

Re:What are the attack vectors (4, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | about 3 months ago | (#45834393)

Hi JS,
Try watching a few of the new 30C3 vids to get an overview of contractor and gov visions for phone tracking.
30C3 To Protect And Infect - The militarisation of the Internet
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZYo9TPyNko [youtube.com]
30c3 To Protect And Infect, Part 2 (at ~30 min in for the cell phone question more at 43 min for ~DROPOUTJEEP too)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0w36GAyZIA [youtube.com]
30C3 Backdoors, Government Hacking and The Next Crypto Wars
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLT7ao1V8vY [youtube.com]

Re:What are the attack vectors (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 3 months ago | (#45834637)

Those videos do not tell what the exact vulnerabilities (or possibly intentional backdoors) in iPhone are. It would be important to know. How do we know that every iPhone user is not carrying a phone that comes with a convenient "welcome, NSA" feature.

And the careful parsing continues... (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 3 months ago | (#45834217)

Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products,

Note that they specified the NSA, but did not disclaim the possibility of working with some other group, like say a sub-contractor who didn't officially disclose to Apple the fact that they were an NSA sub-contractor. Surely the NSA isn't the only part of the US government that would love to have unfetterred "legal" access to arbitrary iphones.

With all the deliberatedly worded non-denial denials we've seen in response to NSA revelations, you'd think that Apple's PR firms would know to make an absolute denial if that was their intent. That wouldn't stop some people from thinking Apple is out-right lying. But why even give them an excuse, unless Apple does have something to hide and they want plausible deniability if the truth ever comes out?

Re:And the careful parsing continues... (3, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 3 months ago | (#45834537)

With all the deliberatedly worded non-denial denials we've seen in response to NSA revelations, you'd think that Apple's PR firms would know to make an absolute denial if that was their intent.

I see these overly-specific denials as a signal that they're under a gag order.

B******* (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834235)

I'm not so naive.

Like the wording (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834251)

I don't like Apple's marketing approach, and I don't know if anyone can believe their promises, but I do like how Apple lumps the NSA with malicious hackers attacking Apple's customers.

Happy new year (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834259)

Happy new year, my fellow slashdotters. Best wishes to you and yours,

love,

AC

Re:Happy new year (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834313)

Back atcha (or atme, or atus).

AC

The damage is done (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834265)

So any denial by anyone is now irrelevant. The rest of the planet now has as much trust in American services / hardware as we have in our own government.

Hell, I would expect a huge push to remove the US from any position of authority when it comes to anything Internet related. I certainly wouldn't blame them for it.

The rest of the planet should be fun and ban all American company sposored hardware / software declaring them a National Security risk. We'll quickly find out if Corporate America are truly buddies with the NSA or not when profits drop right through the floor.

Re:The damage is done (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 3 months ago | (#45834283)

They were not given choices, the letter they got is a a gag order/order of compliance. But it gets worse, the concept of corporate lobbied politicians that issue their directives makes this a case of mega corporation insurrection.

From the snow leopard security config guide v10.6 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834281)

Page 16/272: Acknowledgments
Apple would like to thank the National Security Agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Defense Information Systems Agency for their assistance in creating and editing the client and server security configuration guides for Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

Re:From the snow leopard security config guide v10 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834343)

happy fucking new year who stole my mod points

IT takes one to know one (1)

ladydi89 (1159055) | about 3 months ago | (#45834315)

Regardless of whether Apple's claims are true or not, I think it is awesome that Apple called the government malicious hackers.

Big company and not everyone knows (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834337)

It's not like someone or a group inside Apple sent a company wide email that they were working with the NSA on something for the iPhone. I work at a big law firm and we are tasked with doing things that only a few people in IT are aware of at any given time. Certain types of discovery and data captures, legal holds, monitoring, exporting data, redirecting email, etc.. I imagine any big company does the same and when that company is spread out around the world and involved in manufacturing in different countries, it would be even easier to slip this stuff in.

This exploit applied to the original iPhone/IOS3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834349)

It has been reported that Apple was not complicit in the remote exploit and that the original iPhone software was rushed and incomplete. This exploit applied to the original iPhone running IOS3.x and earlier and had to do with remote debugging/error reporting. The poor phone only had 128MB of RAM and needed lots of debugging.

Obligatory translation... (4, Interesting)

PsychoSlashDot (207849) | about 3 months ago | (#45834359)

"Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone."

Translation: "the NSA did all the work and we didn't have to work with them."

"Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products."

Translation: "we weren't aware they were supposedly trying to hack our products because we already allowed them carte blanche access."

" ... Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers."

Translation: Our customers are best-protected by us having a lot of money and not being in secret courts all day so we comply with government organizations' suggestions.

"We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them."

Translation: since the NSA are not malicious hackers but our best buddies, we will happily focus our efforts on black-hat bad guys. Nothing to see here.

You know... if one of these companies would just say "there are no backdoors in our software. We do not allow the NSA or any other organization access to customer data or communications under any circumstance. These are not new policies and go back to the inception of our iOS line of products", then I could take them seriously. Instead their lawyers draft these PR statements that use such mind-deadening language that it's trivial to poke fun at them.

I don't honestly believe Apply has allowed a back-door, but their statement just sucks.

Re:Obligatory translation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834613)

I tend to think that Apple may be telling the truth, at least literally. Perhaps they never did work with the NSA to create backdoors in their products. Far more likely the NSA conscripted the FBI to compels Apple to create a backdoor in their products via some secret law or secret court order.

Far more reassuring would have been a statement to the effect that "We have never deliberately created a backdoor in any of our products"... However that seems somewhat unlikely, more so now...

Roshak Journal: Sniffing Along The Trail, Not Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834407)

Apple Inc. i.e. the executives controlling the company are fully aware of the rules and restrictions and compliance with the rules regarding National Security activity when contracted for work by a Federal agency conducting National Security work.

If Apple Inc. was working in accordance with those rules and having received significant money from the Federal agency for their work and corporation, a response to a direct question regarding the National Security work and corporation by a third party must be given using these precise legal works, "I am not authorized to conform or deny."

The new question is, "was Apple Inc. authorized to deny?"

The authorization, if issued, will come from the Federal agency or the President of the United States of America.

Did Obama authorize Apple Inc. to deny?

Mr. Cook meet with the President on December 16, 2013, other than what has been reported by the main stream media!

Ok then, WHY was local sync removed from OS X ? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834427)

Prior to OS X 10.9 Mavericks, it was possible to sync an iOS
device completely, via USB cable which connected the iOS
device to the main computer.

Now in Mavericks the iOS local sync is gone. Personally I believe this
has been done because it will make it trivially easy for the NSA to collect the
contents of iOS devices from various central points ( the central points
would be the servers Apple uses for iCloud ).

So no, I don't believe that Apple will do anything to
protect the people who buy hardware from Apple. I've been one
of those buyers but I won't spend any more of my money with
Apple, because even if they aren't helping out the spooks
they are selling shit that doesn't work well without even bothering to
let users know about the loss of important features in their operating
system before those poor users "upgrade". That is inexcusable behavior
on the part of a company which pretends to care about how its products work. ///

Re:Ok then, WHY was local sync removed from OS X ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834605)

You do realize that you can use CardDAV, CalDAV, ActiveSync, and IMAP protocols against your own server on your own local network, right? USB is not the only way.

Laptop Bags (-1)

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Breakdown of what was actually said. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45834609)

I work in a relationship role for a large firm that most people have heard of. Let me fill all of you in on exactly what was said here.
First time poster as I am normally not interested however I felt that most of the comments were not addressing the whole verbiage of the defense.

"Apple has never worked with the NSA" ----- We did not have a contract with or resources sharing agreement with the NSA. We have friends though.
"to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone" ----- Whatever was created was not called a backdoor or we did not create it. Someone else did.
"Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products..." ----- THIS alleged program. We were given a different name or aware of others.
" ... Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers.
----- Apple will and probably does investigate breach attempts. But this is not a breach. It was a voluntary. So we aren't doing anything.

"We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them." ------ Malicious hackers, Security Attacks, as stated above this was voluntary. We will continue not using resources to patch the vulnerabilities.

In summary Apple did not deny. It is simply used double speak/meaning to say, it was not officially worked, we didn't refer to it by this name, we did not personally create the vulnerabilities and we aren't going to fix them. The NSA would be like a vendor to a large company in this instance. The company can sit back and say they did not personally take malicious action. However, they can't get away from the fact that it happened under their watch so they must respond and deny, which as pointed out by others can be proven by subsequent revelation by Snowden or others, or they can type a paragraph which is true and doesn't admit guilt while misguiding others into making their own conclusion.

Remember, you are the one they have to convince, not themselves. The executives are not going to let someone like government or shareholders just waltz in and destroy what they've spent years building. They will lie or mislead and if caught, after years of arbitration and lawsuits, can settle for a small lump sum that pales in comparison to the money they could have made in the meantime. Look at BP and the trust fund they setup for the Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup. They made a profit on the interest and reinvestment of that money.

Believe me or not it's entirely up to you. I work in an area who has written quite a few of these and trust me it works to divide and conquer individuals who have different interpretations of literary/writing style. Either way, most people are not paying attention... and that's a fact.

Uh-yup (4, Insightful)

ApplePy (2703131) | about 3 months ago | (#45834639)

Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program

How could they be aware? I mean, it's only been widespread news for the last year or so!

Their statement is 100% lawyer-drafted weasel language crafted to tell enough truth that they don't get in trouble, while still lying about whatever it is they're lying about. Next it'll be something like "We're really sorry you think there are security flaws in our product, and we're working hard to change that perception."

HA HA Apple uses weasel words (1)

Hey_Jude_Jesus (3442653) | about 3 months ago | (#45834653)

OK so what government agency or contractor did Apple help with a back door to the iPhone? The rant about "malicious hackers" is a classic switch to get the consumer to think Apple is denying the program. But the government of the United States is not a malicious hacker.

What scares me the most is... (1)

CmpEng (1123811) | about 3 months ago | (#45834663)

"the ability to remotely push/pull files from the device... All communications with the implant will be covert and encrypted." Say you're a government trouble maker/political rival/whistle blower/unwanted/whatever and next thing you know they find inappropriate content on your phone. How are people not rioting in the streets over this?
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