The NSA Can Use Your iPhone To Spy On You, Expert Says

Posted: Updated:
IPHONE
A man uses his phone as he walks past an Apple store in Hong Kong on December 25, 2013, on Christmas day. Apple shares rose on December 23 after the company sealed a hard-won deal with China Mobile which will see the world's biggest wireless operator make the iPhone widely available to customers. AFP PHOTO / ANTHONY WALLACE (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images
Print

LONDON (AP) — A well-known privacy advocate has given the public an unusually explicit peek into the intelligence world's tool box, pulling back the curtain on the National Security Agency's arsenal of high-tech spy gear.

Independent journalist and security expert Jacob Appelbaum on Monday told a hacker conference in Germany that the NSA could turn iPhones into eavesdropping tools and use radar wave devices to harvest electronic information from computers, even if they weren't online.

Appelbaum told hundreds of computer experts gathered at Hamburg's Chaos Communications Conference that his revelations about the NSA's capabilities "are even worse than your worst nightmares."

"What I am going to show you today is wrist-slittingly depressing," he said.

Even though in the past six months there have been an unprecedented level of public scrutiny of the NSA and its methods, Appelbaum's claims — supported by what appeared to be internal NSA slideshows — still caused a stir.

One of the slides described how the NSA can plant malicious software onto Apple Inc.'s iPhone, giving American intelligence agents the ability to turn the popular smartphone into a pocket-sized spy.

dropoutjeep

"Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone," the company said in a statement to AllThingsD. "Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products."

Another slide showcased a futuristic-sounding device described as a "portable continuous wave generator," a remote-controlled device which — when paired with tiny electronic implants — can bounce invisible waves of energy off keyboards and monitors to see what is being typed, even if the target device isn't connected to the Internet.

A third slide showcased a piece of equipment called NIGHTSTAND, which can tamper with wireless Internet connections from up to 8 miles (13 kilometers) away.

An NSA spokeswoman, Vanee Vines, said that she wasn't aware of Appelbaum's presentation, but that in general should would not comment on "alleged foreign intelligence activities."

"As we've said before, NSA's focus is on targeting the communications of valid foreign intelligence targets — not on collecting and exploiting a class of communications or services that would sweep up communications that are not of bona fide foreign intelligence interest to the U.S. government."

The documents included in Appelbaum's presentation were first published by German magazine Der Spiegel on Sunday and Monday.

Appelbaum and Der Spiegel have both played an important role in the disclosures of NSA leaker Edward Snowden, but neither has clarified whether the most recent set of slides came from Snowden.

Also on The Huffington Post

Close
Politicians React To NSA Collecting Phone Records
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

The NSA Reportedly Has Total Access To The Apple iPhone - Forbes

NSA Has Spyware Backdoor On iPhone - Business Insider

How The NSA Hacks Your iPhone (Presenting DROPOUT JEEP ...

NSA Spyware Allegedly Gives Backdoor Access to iPhones | Cult of ...

NSA worked on iPhone spyware to remotely monitor users, leaked ...

The NSA has nearly complete backdoor access to Apple's iPhone

New iPhone game warns of dangers of surveillance state | Fox News

Switchboard: To the NSA, your iPhone is an open book

From Our Partners