New Snowden documents reveal how the GCHQ tracked iPhone users

News / Mobile phones

New Snowden documents reveal how the GCHQ tracked iPhone users

  • 2015-02-13 12:34:16
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News / Mobile phones New Snowden documents reveal how the GCHQ tracked iPhone users

In the past, leaked documents have revealed that NSA was able to use a backdoor to spy on iPhone owners, whose knowledge was denied by Apple, but was fixed by the company in iOS 8. Now, new data published by Der Spigel shows that the British spy agency — Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) — was able pull any data from an iPhone, even if the device itself was not compromised.

The process did not attack the iPhone directly, but instead relied heavily on its UDID and the computer it was synced with. Once the iPhone was synced to a compromised computer, the GCHQ officials were easily able to extract data, including app data, from the backups.

In addition, the report talks about different methods that allowed GCHQ officials to track targets by following the UDID of the iOS device through different services. Thanks to a exploit in Safari, the agency was also able to track the web activity of the suspected iPhone user.

Thankfully, the method mentioned in the report dated November 2010 does not work anymore as Apple has long stopped using UDID in favor of other methods that are more secure. The company had started phasing out access to UDID to developers from iOS 5 and has since then stopped accepting apps in the App Store that request access to it.

[Source Spigel Der, Via The Verge]





Categories: Mobile phones

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