The NSA Has Crazy Good Backdoor Access to iPhones

We already knew that the NSA had developed a taste for intercepting packages to put backdoors in electronics. Now, it turns out that those hacks provide it with almost complete access to the iPhone, too.

Documents shared by security researcher Jacob Appelbaum and German magazine Der Spiegel reveal that the NSA can spy on almost every communication sent from Apple's phones. Using software called DROPOUTJEEP, the NSA can: intercept SMS messages, access contact lists, locate a phone using cell tower data, and even activate the device's microphone and camera.

Sadly, the leaked documents report a 100 percent success rate with its iPhone spyware, though also point out that the hack requires physical contact with a device to install it. As we already know, though, that's no barrier for the Agency, and the document also suggests a remote version is in the works.

If it all sounds a little too good to be true for the NSA, then Jacob Appelbaum has a theory. "Either [the NSA] have a huge collection of exploits that work against Apple products, meaning they are hoarding information about critical systems that American companies produce, and sabotaging them," he explained at a recent conference. "Or Apple sabotaged it themselves."Oh. Dear. [Daily Dot]

Update: Apple has responded these claims, telling AllThingsD it has no knowledge of such a backdoor.

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.