Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Has Your iOS Device Been Hacked By The CIA?

Let me start this out by stating that we, in no way, can confirm any particular reasoning, whether it be beneficial or malicious, as to the CIA's attacks on Apple's devices and software. That being said, if you own any type of Apple device that has come out since the release of the first iPhone, there are some recent developments that you should definitely be aware of.

While we don't know everything for sure, we do know that the CIA and the NSA have been making attempts to hack into Apple's security networks. This has come as a shock to just about every consumer that has found out about it. Of course when asked about it, the CIA had no comment on the story.

So what exactly has even been happening, you may wonder. Since the first generation iPhone was in development, The CIA have been have been both sponsoring and attending an event call "Jamboree". This event was designed to figure out the latest and best tactics at cracking Apple's security codes and developer tools. One Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, has come out and shown some of the slides that were presented at one of the previous Jamboree events. The slides explain multiple efforts to weaken and break through Apple's security within their multiple devices. One of the slide's even talks about creating and infected version of Apple's Xcode.

Xcode is the development code used to design applications on both iOS and OS X devices. The "dummy" code would allow access to all of the applications utilizing a backdoor implanted within the code itself. This particular "whacked" code would be targeted at budding developers who might be unfamiliar with the original, unaltered Xcode. Should these newer developers end up using the tampered Xcode, they would be allowing a backdoor to be created within the program, unknowingly of course. Needless to say, this type of tampering and targeting towards newer developers is violating more than a few laws.

As far as we know, there have not been any successful attempts at cracking into Apple's security encryptions. That being said, this doesn't mean that we as consumers and the developers are safe from the prying CIA. They are still very capable of weakening the security of Apple devices, as well compromising any app developed by the developers that fall prey to the CIA and their infected code.

What type of data was the CIA even planning to take from us? Well apparently they've been looking to ascertain the GID keys used by our devices. A GID key would be used to track a single user on one device. The GID key, however, would be used to gain access to an entire product line as they likely use the same application processor. If the CIA were to get their hands on these GID keys, they'd be able to create their own type of firmware to install on an entire product line that shares the same app processor, thus allowing for mass surveillance.

Again, there is no confirmation as to the reasoning that the CIA has for these malicious attacks on Apple's product security. That being said, this is disturbing to say the least.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.