Apple denies knowledge of, assistance in NSA iPhone spyware

Dec. 31, 2013 at 5:41 PM   |   Comments

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CUPERTINO, Calif., Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Apple, reacting to news the U.S. National Security Agency worked on iPhone spyware to monitor users, says it has not cooperated with the NSA on such projects.

Apple's response came following the release of documents indicating the NSA has the capability of deploying software on the iPhone to grant access to onboard assets such as text messages, location data, and even microphone audio, AppleInsider reported Tuesday.

Physical contact with a target phone is required to implant the software, the leaked documents suggested.

"Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone," the Cupertino, Calif., company said in a statement provided to AllThingsD.

The leaked documents showed the NSA's iPhone-targeting spyware program, which began in 2008, is called "DROPOUTJEEP."

"Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products. We care deeply about our customers' privacy and security," Apple's statement said.

"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," the company said.

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