Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Microsoft/Windows
Register for a certification exam.
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Apple
Apple's iMessage Security Disputed by Researchers

By Seth Fitzgerald
October 18, 2013 11:09AM

    Bookmark and Share
With security researchers now claiming that Apple is indeed able to access iMessage data, it is possible that the information has been shared with the NSA. If Apple controls the encryption keys used to protect iMessage information, it is capable of decryption of messages for the NSA if it chooses to do so.
 



Apple has claimed for months that its iMessage encryption software is unbreakable, meaning that all messages sent via the service cannot be read by anyone, including Apple itself. Security researchers have now come out to refute that claim, stating that iMessage encryption is not actually secure in the way Apple has made it out to be.

Not only are the researchers refuting Apple's statements, but they have basically suggested Apple lied. Immediately after French iOS jailbreak-developer Cyril Cattiaux made his claim about iMessage, Apple responded, stating that it has not lied and that iMessage encryption standards are higher than most.

Is Apple Lying?

According to Apple, iMessage encryption prevents anyone but the sender and receiver from reading the messages that are sent via data transmission between two iOS devices. However, these claims do not seem to be backed up by any real information and are being refuted by Cattiaux, as well as Matthew Green, a cryptographer and research professor at Johns Hopkins University.

"If you use the iCloud backup service to back up your iDevice, there's a very good chance that Apple can access the last few days of your iMessage history," said Green, in response to Apple's claim. The most upfront attacks against Apple and its "unbreakable encryption" statement have come from a group named QuarksLab, a penetration and testing lab in Paris.

Members of QuarksLab have said claims that the encryption is "unbreakable" are nothing more than lies. Apple has stuck with its statements, despite researchers coming out to refute them. "iMessage is not architected to allow Apple to read messages," said an Apple spokeswoman.

NSA Concerns

Apple has been releasing information regarding how many U.S. National Security Agency data requests it receives since June, and according to the company, it receives around 1,000 requests per month. Although the requests are coming in on a consistent basis, Apple assured its customers that it is unable to see iMessage data and therefore has never and will never hand that over to the NSA.

With security researchers now claiming that Apple is indeed able to access iMessage data, it is possible that the information has been shared with the NSA. Cattiaux and his colleagues have shown that Apple controls the encryption keys used to protect iMessage information. With Apple in control of the keys, it is completely capable of decryption of messages for the NSA if it chooses to do so.

Not only have multiple security researchers come forth with their own information to show that Apple's encryption is breakable, but technology publications have been reassured by other experts that the findings are accurate and backed up by data.

"Because Apple controls the device and they issue the keys, it's clear that if Apple wanted, they could 'man in the middle' so that they could themselves decrypt it," said Ashkan Soltani, an independent researcher.

Whether or not Apple is sharing iMessage data with the NSA is still unknown, but it now appears as though the company is quite capable of doing so.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:





 Microsoft/Windows
1.   Yammer Moved to Office 365
2.   Can One Size Windows OS Fit All?
3.   Microsoft CEO Sees 'Bold' Plan Ahead
4.   Future of Laid-Off MS Employees
5.   MixRadio To Spin Off from Microsoft


advertisement
Microsoft CEO Sees 'Bold' Plan Ahead
With unified Windows for all platforms.
Average Rating:
Design Central to Microsoft Future
New ethos a break from functional past.
Average Rating:
Bing Lets Europeans Be 'Forgotten'
Following in Google's footsteps.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Watson Gets His First Customer Service Gig
Since appearing on Jeopardy, IBM's Watson supercomputer has been making a living using his super-intelligent knowledge base for business verticals. Now, Watson's been hired for his first customer service job.
 
Tablet Giants Apple and Samsung Feel the Heat
When a company saturates its home market with a once-hot product, expect it to pump up efforts elsewhere. Apple, for its part, is now pushing iPads to big corporations and the enterprise market.
 
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Tablet Giants Apple and Samsung Feel the Heat
When a company saturates its home market with a once-hot product, expect it to pump up efforts elsewhere. Apple, for its part, is now pushing iPads to big corporations and the enterprise market.
 
Is the Amazon Fire Phone a Winner?
A late entry into a packed category of smartphones, Amazon's Fire phone offers a variety of unique features. Now, the reviewers are assessing if they're enough to make the phone stand out.
 
Review: Amazon Fire Offers New Ways To Use Phones
The Fire phone uses Android, but Amazon has modified it to the point that it's barely recognizable. That means the phone offers new ways to navigate, discover and, of course, shop.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.