NSA can reportedly Hack iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry phones

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Germany’s Der Spigel reports that according to leaked documents, the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) can hack into iPhones, Android smartphones and BlackBerries.

The internal documents reveal that they can access to sensitive data held on smartphones including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information.

In the internal documents, experts boast about successful access to iPhone data in instances where the NSA is able to infiltrate the computer a person uses to sync their iPhone. Mini-programs, so-called “scripts,” then enable additional access to at least 38 iPhone features.

The documents suggest the intelligence specialists have also had similar success in hacking into BlackBerrys. A 2009 NSA document states that it can “see and read SMS traffic.” It also notes there was a period in 2009 when the NSA was temporarily unable to access BlackBerry devices. After the Canadian company acquired another firm the same year, it changed the way in compresses its data. But in March 2010, the department responsible at Britain’s GCHQ intelligence agency declared in a top secret document it had regained access to BlackBerry data and celebrated with the word, “champagne!”

The documents also state that the NSA has succeeded in accessing the BlackBerry mail system, which is known to be very secure. 

The report notes that spying was targeted at specific individuals and not a “mass phenomenon,” and without the knowledge of smartphone makers.

Smartphone makers like Apple have maintained that conversations taking place on iMessage and FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender or receiver can see or read them. Earlier in the year, federal agencies had also voiced concerns that they were not able to snoop over messages sent using the service due to iMessage’s end-to-end encryption.

We’re assuming that NSA is probably able to access sensitive information by hacking into a person’s computer, and then accessing the sensitive data from the iTunes backups if they’re not encrypted.

Der Spigel plans to publish a “full article” article tomorrow, which should provide more details.

Are you concerned about NSA syping on smartphones? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

[Via Der Spigel]

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  • Themunger

    Wtf

  • MickyTek

    What am I supposed to do now, I will not be able to sell my Coke or my arms, got some lovely weapons from the Russians last week and that coke that I got from the Sussex fisherman the other day is awsom, now I am stuck with the whole lot, will not dare use my phone anymore to sell my goods, going to have to upgrade to wholesale exports in future

  • Grey1

    And you didn’t already know that, oh and by the way they can do it remotely. At least for the last 10 or 15 years anyhow all they need is a signal to piggy back on. But there’s not much nowadays big brother cant see or hear. Get use to it. Oh and by the way they can access any file there is on you too that’s stored or transferred electronically in case you didn’t know .already.

  • FinFan

    I am going back to CB. At least they can’t understand that language they are using!

  • Map

    I hope the authorities will take measures to actively combat.

  • Alex Upshaw

    Hmm I need to contact the NSA my computer with the backups to my 4s crashed a while back followed by my phone if they have a copy maybe I can restore my phone…