Spy different. During the 30th Chaos Communication Congress Jacob Applebaum revealed the existence of an NSA software program known as DROPOUTJEEP which turns a user’s iPhone into a surveillance device for the government. The revelation suggests Apple may have created a backdoor for the NSA.
The NSA describes the capabilities of the program as follows:
“DROPOUTJEEP is a software implant for the Apple iPhone that utilizes modular mission applications to provide specific SIGINT functionality. This functionality includes the ability to remotely push/pull files from the device. SMS retrieval, contact list retrieval, voicemail, geolocation, hot mic, camera capture, cell tower location, etc. Command, control and data exfiltration can occur over SMS messaging or a GPRS data connection. All communications with the implant will be covert and encrypted.”
They can take your files, turn your mic on to listen to you, use your camera, and track your movements. Can we call it a Surveillance State yet?
Apple has claimed they did not help develop the software or provide the NSA a backdoor though Applebaum is skeptical.
I don’t really believe that Apple didn’t help them, I can’t really prove it but [the NSA] literally claim that anytime they target an iOS device that it will succeed for implantation. Either they have a huge collection of exploits that work against Apple products, meaning that they are hoarding information about critical systems that American companies produce and sabotaging them, or Apple sabotaged it themselves.
Remember the good old days – a few weeks ago – when it was all just “metadata”?
Well the NSA might know more than that thanks to systems like DROPOUTJEEP they can access people’s smart phones and find out a wide variety of information beyond just who you call, when you call, and at what location. They can vacuum out any files contained within the device and get real-time intelligence by tracking your location, listening to you talk, and/or seeing what video and pictures you are taking.
Judge Leon was wrong this is not “near Orwellian” technology, this is well past it.