Apple Inc. (AAPL) claims to have never worked with the NSA to create backdoors

Posted Dec 31, 2013

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has denied that they have worked with the National Security Agency (NSA) to create backdoors in their products. Apple also claimed that they have never worked with the NSA about the DROPOUTJEEP program.

“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. We care deeply about our customers? privacy and security.  Our team is continuously working to make our products even more secure, and we make it easy for customers to keep their software up to date with the latest advancements.  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,” said Apple in a statement sent to TechCrunch.

Apple responded to accusations in a report from Der Spiegel on Sunday. The report from Der Spiegel details a Tailored Access Operations (TAO) unit within the NSA that was given the responsibility to gain access to foreign computer systems to retrieve data for national security reasons. The report also highlighted a division called ANT that is supposed to compile information about hacking consumer electronics and networking hardware.

The report claims that there is a document that could be used by the NSA to choose tools for snooping. The 50-page document allegedly also has information about hacking tools that can target laptops and mobile phones. One of the operations is called DROPOUTJEEP, which could basically allow the NSA to snoop on “any” Apple iPhone with “100% success.” The documents are dated from 2008 so it may not work on newer devices.

The documents revealed that the NSA needed physical access to the devices. However, it also said that they were working on remote installation capabilities. It is unknown whether that initiative was successful.