Report: CIA Tried To Break Apple Security for Years

Documents provided by U.S. National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has for years tried to crack the security of Apple devices, including iPhones and iPads. CIA and other security researchers have been meeting annually at a secret gathering called the Trusted Computing Base (TCB) Jamboree to share findings and strategies for breaking into Apple devices and other electronics, according to an article published Tuesday by The Intercept.

The Intercept also posted online a document provided by Snowden inviting attendees to a TCB Jamboree at the Lockheed Martin Dulles Executive Plaza in Herndon, Virginia. The document noted that the 2012 Jamboree would have been the seventh such annual gathering.

That would mean the first Jamboree was held one year before Apple released its first iPhone, according to The Intercept. In addition to trying to break the keys used to encrypt data on Apple devices, security researchers also developed their own version of Apple's Xcode development environment with the goal of creating backdoor access to iPhones and iPads, according to The Intercept report.

'Fundamentally a Scandal'

Peter Eckersley, Technology Projects Director with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), told us that the latest report reveals a "calculated, organized and ruthless" campaign by the U.S. surveillance agencies to crack the security of Apple products. "It's fundamentally a scandal anytime a well-funded agency is trying to undermine the security" of products made by a U.S.-based company, he said.

By comparison, the Superfish adware recently found on Lenovo devices was "the bumbling, amateur commercial version of what the NSA does in a much more subtle and sophisticated way," Eckersley said.

He added that the newly revealed attempts to create security vulnerabilities in Apple devices are likely not exclusive to U.S. spy agencies. Any country with a well-funded government security infrastructure -- including Russia,...

Comments are closed.