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. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
APC Free White Paper
Optimize your network investment &
Enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Microsoft/Windows
Fiercely productive scanners
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:



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Microsoft/Windows
1.   Patch Tuesday Offers Critical Fixes
2.   China Approves Microsoft-Nokia Deal
3.   Microsoft Pulls Plug on Windows XP
4.   Against a Wall, Some Buy XP Support
5.   Last Fixes Tuesday for XP, Office 2003


advertisement
Last Fixes Tuesday for XP, Office 2003
Microsoft closing out support for two.
Average Rating:
Will Nadella Launch an Office for iPad?
New Microsoft CEO may act this month.
Average Rating:
Windows 8 Updates Expected Soon
Using OS feedback, security concerns.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
IBM Offers Security, Disaster Recovery as SoftLayer Service
New disaster recovery and security services for SoftLayer clients are being added by IBM. Big Blue said the new capabilities will speed cloud adoption by alleviating concern over business continuity.
 
How To Beat the Heartbleed Bug
Heartbleed headlines continue as IT admins scramble for answers no one has. Early reports of stolen personal data, including 900 social insurance numbers in Canada, are starting to trickle in.
 
After Heartbleed, OpenSSL Calls for More Support
The president of the OpenSSL Foundation says more support is needed from companies and governments that use its software so that it can better spot and fix flawed pieces of code such as Heartbleed.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Vaio Fit 11A Battery Danger Forces Recall by Sony
Using a Sony Vaio Fit 11A laptop? It's time to send it back to Sony. In fact, Sony is encouraging people to stop using the laptop after several reports of its Panasonic battery overheating.
 
Continued Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the global slump in PC demand may be easing, with a considerable slowdown from last year's drops.
 
Google Glass Finds a Home in Medical Education, Practice
Google Glass may find its first markets in verticals in which hands-free access to data is a boon. Medicine is among the most prominent of those, as seen in a number of Glass experiments under way.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Amazon 3D Smartphone Pics Leaked
E-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly set to launch a smartphone after years of development. Photos of the phone, which may feature a unique 3D interface, were leaked by tech pub BGR.
 
Zebra Tech Buys Motorola Enterprise for $3.45B
Weeks after Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility’s assets from Google for $2.91 billion, Zebra Technologies is throwing down $3.45 billion for Motorola’s Enterprise business in an all-cash deal.
 
CTIA Caves, Volunteers Kill Switch Plan
After bucking against the concept of a smartphone kill switch, the CTIA just announced the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” to thwart smartphone thefts in the U.S.
 

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 | Small Business | 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 | XML/RSS Feed

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.