Advanced NSA Spying via iPhone Hacking Revealed
Edward Snowden’s leak of NSA spying tactics has shocked and amazed. News has come to light showing the US Government’s blatant disregard for democratic values, spying on US citizens and non-citizens alike, collecting a treasure trove of personal and private information on billions of people.
In the dying days of 2013, the German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel reported that America’s National Security Agency (NSA) has had the Apple iPhone fully hacked since 2008. The NSA’s snooping is allegedly facilitated by spyware, which can reportedly be installed on iPhones during shipping — which means they could be set up for spying before they’re even purchased.
According to the allegations, the NSA employed its highly capable TAO hacking unit to facilitate the iPhone breach. The NSA spyware, once installed, gives spies access to just about any kind of data stored on the iPhone, whether the end user realizes it’s there or not.
Leaked information claims that the NSA has a 100 percent success rate at remotely installing its spyware on iPhones.
Examples of private data collected includes:
- Contact lists: Every name, number, email address, and call log in your iPhone is tracked via NSA intrusions.
- Text messages: Every time you send and receive a text message, the message is automatically crawled by NSA computer systems to detect keywords. If your message happens to get flagged by the spy program’s software, you can expect to end up on a watch list resulting in even more intrusive monitoring of your private life.
- Voicemail messages: Your voicemail messages are monitored and like text messages can be automatically flagged when containing a spoken key-phrase that the organization considers suspicious.
- Geo-location histories: Your location is tracked at all times of the day, with a history of your every movement recorded. The NSA tracks this information by hacking into the GPS systems built into iPhone devices.
[one_third]The Government knows when your home, when you’re traveling to work, and through behavioral modeling can predict where you are heading to at what time. Often they know where you’re going each day before you’ve even tied your shoelaces to leave the house.
The NSA is able to piece together historical location data from your phone to create an accurate depiction of your daily routine. Add spying on your contact information into the equation and you’ll see that the Government also knows everyone you will meet with, when you met with them, and what you discussed.
Additional sources claim that the NSA has the ability to remotely activate the microphone and camera on any iPhone carrying its spyware. Thus, the NSA would theoretically be capable of listening in on your private, non-iPhone conversations and watching you wherever you go. Is it possible that a bright iPhone app developer is already working on mobile phone software designed to detect and remove such threats?
The revelations also fueled speculation that Apple was complicit in the development and installation of the spyware on its products. However, Apple officials moved swiftly to deny any such claims, saying in a statement that “Apple has never worked with the NSA” and that the company “care[s] deeply about our customers’ privacy and security.”
Whether or not Apple had anything to do with the NSA’s hacking activities is something we may never know. But if you’re a mobile app developer in Chicago or any other major U.S. city, take heed: privacy and security may well be major user concerns going forward.Tags: Apple, civil rights, edward snowden, government spying, iPhone, iphone hacking, nsa, privacy, spring