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...
GET RECOGNIZED.
Let an ISACA® certification
elevate your career.

Register today and save
Microsoft/Windows
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Apple's iMessage Security Disputed by Researchers

Apple's iMessage Security Disputed by Researchers
By Seth Fitzgerald

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

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:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Microsoft/Windows
1.   Windows 9 Preview Date: Sept. 30?
2.   Price Wars Hitting Laptop Market?
3.   Office 365 Tailored for Attorneys
4.   Plan Your Move from Windows 7 Now
5.   Microsoft Patch Tuesday Stars IE


advertisement
China Puts Microsoft Under the Lens
Official anti-monopoly probe launched.
Average Rating:
Plan Your Move from Windows 7 Now
But don't rush to deploy Windows 8.
Average Rating:
Dynamics CRM Online Extends Reach
Now available in 17 more countries.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Find Malicious Android Apps Can Hack Gmail
A new study shows that a weakness in the Android mobile operating system can be used to steal sensitive, personal info from unwitting users. Gmail proved to be the easiest app to attack; Amazon, the hardest.
 
UPS Stores in 24 States Hit by Data Breach
Big Brown has been breached. UPS said that about 105,000 customer transactions at 51 of its UPS Store locations in 24 states could have been compromised between January and August.
 
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Feds OK $2.3 Billion IBM-Lenovo x86 Server Deal
IBM and Lenovo are celebrating U.S. approval of their x86-based server deal, having cleared some major security hurdles. The deal makes Lenovo a major player for enterprise data centers.
 
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
With businesses wanting computing solutions that do more for less money, Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that it says offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Screen Shortage Briefly Puts Brakes on iPhone 6
RAM? Check. Antenna switch? Check. Screen? Oops. Parts suppliers for Apple have found themselves facing a shortage of screens for the new iPhone 6 as next month's release date for the new smartphone looms.
 
Bounty Offered to Coders for Oculus Rift Bugs
Coders who find bugs in software for the Oculus Rift VR immersive headset could receive a reward of at least $500 under Facebook's White Hat bounty program. Facebook acquired Oculus in March.
 
Google Glass Adds Voice Access to Phone Contacts
The latest update to Google Glass will let users access their top 20 phone contacts with voice commands alone. A user can then choose a phone call, Google hangouts, e-mail or text messaging.
 

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.