Secret Meeting Reveals How to Break Apple's Security
- By Ginger Hill
- Mar 11, 2015
Jamboree, a large celebration or party, typically very lavish and boisterous, is the name given to the secret annual meeting of security researchers who have been working with the CIA. These researchers gather to share their tactics and strategies for exploiting security flaws in household and commercial-grade electronics. And, The Intercept just happened to obtain some top-secret documents in which they report that one of the goals of the meeting was to determine how to break the security of Apple’s iPhones and iPads.
So, what exactly were these researchers getting boisterous about while I assume sipping on 100-year-old wine and snacking on gourmet hors d'oeuvres?
During their research, essential security keys stored on Apple devices, used to encrypt data, were targeted by the use of physical and non-invasive techniques to discover ways to decrypt the Apple-stored data and penetrate Apple’s encrypted firmware. Malicious code could then be planted onto the Apple devices and used to search for other encryption-masked vulnerabilities.
These researchers also claimed that they had modified a version of Xcode, Apple’s proprietary software development tool and the OS X updater, the program used to deliver updates to devices. With the researcher’s version of Xcode, surveillance backdoors could sneak into any apps or programs, enticing and enabling spies to steal passwords and other data. With the modified OS X updater, a keylogger could be installed.
Funding for this near-decade worth of research is said to have come out of the pockets of the CIA; however, the CIA as well as Apple declined to comment.
Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.