MacNN | Apple denies claims it could intercept iMessages on behalf of gov't.
Mac News Network View: Standard | Headlines | Categorized | Slim
Mac News Network
Mac News iPod News Reviews Forums
 

Desktop Headlines
Apple denies claims it could intercept iMessages on behalf of gov't.
Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 10:51am

Apple is denying that it could or would want to intercept iMessage traffic, according to an official statement. In a white paper issued Thursday, security firm QuarksLab argued that despite Apple assurances in the past, Apple could use a man-in-the-middle attack to provide US agencies like the NSA or the FBI with demanded information. The attack would exploit the company's control of encryption keys to convince senders and recipients that they're communicating with each other, when in reality they're passing information through an unsecure point where Apple can listen. QuarksLab says it's not suggesting that Apple does listen, simply that it has the option if compelled.



The paper is reportedly being well-received by other security researchers. "I think what their presentation demonstrates is that it’s very difficult, but not impossible, for an outside attacker to intercept messages if they’re able to control key aspects of the network," says one researcher, Ashkan Soltani. "Probably not something that just any actor can do, but definitely something a state/government actor or Apple themselves could do, if motivated." In its new statement, Apple claims that QuarksLab's theory is just a theory, and would require reprogramming the iMessage system. "iMessage is not architected to allow Apple to read messages," says spokeswoman Trudy Muller. "The research discussed theoretical vulnerabilities that would require Apple to re-engineer the iMessage system to exploit it, and Apple has no plans or intentions to do so." The truth of Apple's statement is difficult to verify, since US agencies have gone after services like Lavabit and Skype to intercept communications, despite their promises of secure connections. Lavabit chose to shut down before handing over encryption information.

Comments on this Article
Print Friendly Version
Email to a Friend
Add MacNN to Your RSS Feeds
Buy from the Apple Store


Related Stories:

Today's MacNN Stories:

  • Editorial: The US judicial system versus modern technology - 6:40 PM EST
  • Deal potentially reached in Silicon Valley anti-employee poaching suit - 4:11 PM EST
  • Trademark filings hint at possible future names for OS X - 2:57 PM EST
  • Briefly: Opera Coast for iPhone, Prong PWR iPhone case - 1:45 PM EST
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook auctions off lunch date for charity - 1:19 PM EST
  • Industry bigwigs launch OpenSSL-fixing Core Infrastructure Initiative - 1:16 PM EST
  • Hands-on: Logitech Hinge and Turnaround cases for iPad Air - 12:54 PM EST
  • Apple tops 2014 JD Power rankings for smartphone satisfaction - 12:05 PM EST
  • Facebook buys out Moves fitness app for iOS and Android - 11:00 AM EST
  • New MacBook Airs could debut as soon as next week, sources claim - 9:18 AM EST
  • Cook answers analyst questions on China, carriers, Apple - 3:02 AM EST
  • Good numbers of note: 800M iTunes accounts, 20M Apple TVs, more - 12:36 AM EST

    Today's iPodNN Stories:
  • Amazon posts 23 percent increase in net sales for first quarter 2013 - 7:14 PM EST
  • Head of Google+ Vic Gundotra announces departure from Google - 3:15 PM EST
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin calls Internet 'CIA project' - 1:37 PM EST
  • Samsung Galaxy Beam2 launches in China with improved projector - 1:15 PM EST
  • Sony announces Vaio Fit repairs for battery fault will begin in May - 11:40 AM EST
  • No comments posted on this story yet. Please post yours.
    Your Comments
    In order to post comments, you must be a registered member of the MacNN Forums and logged in. Please login with your MacNN Forums username and password.

    MacNN Forums Login:

    MacNN Forums Password:

    Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.