Thursday11 August 2022

"NSA Proof" iOS 8 claims... We have heard them before...

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Apple is truly ramping up the PR machine and has even managed to get a few people in government to make some rather outrageous statements on the new phone and iOS 8. One of the new stories going around is about how the new iPhone and iOS8 are suddenly “NSA Proof” because they have added data encryption. The fallacy of this claim is almost beyond belief and shows once again that most in the technical press have absolutely no memory.

Apple has been touting data encryption since iOS 5 and yet Edward Snowden showed that there was very little the NSA could not get out of an iPhone if they wanted it. There were a staggering 38 different exploits that were present in different versions of iOS that allowed for the collection of data. To suddenly claim that now it is all better is something of a sham.

Even claiming that it is on by default does not make it NSA Proof or impossible to crack. We have already heard rumblings of holes in iOS 8 that could leave it open to snooping. Some of the commercially available forensic tools that allow for recovery of data on an iPhone are showing up as iOS 8 ready.

This is not the first time that Apple has tried to push this message though. On August 13th 2012 Gizmodo proclaimed “iOS Encryption Is So Good, Not Even the NSA Can Hack It”. Yet it was this same version of the iOS that Snowden showed was completely pwned by the NSA. We highly doubt that iOS 8 is in any way “NSA Proof” and law enforcement does not have to worry about not being able to tap into user Data on an iPhone.

Apple would have made these claims themselves, but they would probably have left themselves open to some rather ugly lawsuits. Instead it appears that they went to the press and had them spread what amounts to a pile of garbage. With the tools and the talent that the NSA and other law enforcement agencies have at their disposal and the many government requirements (some secret) that require a certain level of access to devices there are probably very few phones, tablets, or anything that the NSA and government cannot get into. It might slow them down and hinder blanket collection of data for a short period of time, but it is certain not going to stop them.

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Last modified on Monday, 29 September 2014 07:06

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