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...
Neustar, Inc.
Protect your website & network
using real-time information & analysis

www.neustar.biz
Microsoft/Windows
Tame your scariest paperwork. Find Out How
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:



Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR) is a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information and analysis to the Internet, telecommunications, information services, financial services, retail, media and advertising sectors. Neustar applies its advanced, secure technologies in location, identification, and evaluation to help its customers promote and protect their businesses. More information is available at www.neustar.biz.


 Microsoft/Windows
1.   Microsoft Buys Recovery Service InMage
2.   'Reinvent Productivity,' Nadella Urges
3.   Microsoft Revamps Office 365 Plans
4.   Windows 7 Ends Mainstream Support
5.   Another IE-Focused Patch Tuesday


advertisement
Review: Microsoft's Surface Pro 3
Is it a tablet and laptop replacement?
Average Rating:
Windows 7 Ends Mainstream Support
But extended support still available.
Average Rating:
Another IE-Focused Patch Tuesday
One critical for Internet Explorer.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Report: Chinese Hackers Hit U.S. Personnel Networks
Hackers from China broke into the computer networks of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management earlier this year with the intention of accessing the files of tens of thousands of federal employees.
 
Charges: Russian Stole Data from U.S. Restaurants, Zoo
A Russian man arrested on bank fraud and other charges hacked into computers at restaurants in Washington, hundreds of other retail businesses, and even the Phoenix Zoo, authorities say.
 
Another Month, Another IE-Focused Patch Tuesday
Microsoft rolled out 59 vulnerabilities for Internet Explorer in June. But the IE-patching party is not over yet. Redmond published six new security bulletins on Tuesday; two, critical; three, important.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Another Day, Another Internet of Things Consortium Is Born
In the emerging Internet of Things, zillions of devices will be talking to each other. Samsung, Intel and Dell just formed a consortium to ensure each thing can understand what others are saying.
 
Gartner Sales Study Sees Tablets Up, PCs Down but Recovering
Are PCs on the comeback trail? That depends on how you define "comeback." While tablet sales remain strong, Gartner's latest study found PC shipments aren't dropping as fast as they did last year.
 
Review: Warming Up to Tablets with Keyboard Covers
If you've ever thought tablets with keyboard covers were just a poor excuse for a laptop, think again. Nokia's Lumia 2520 comes with an optional keyboard cover that just may change your mind.
 

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.