Apple 'Unaware' of NSA Software Reportedly Installed in Every iPhone

Dec 31, 2013 02:55 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma (

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Will the brand known for its sleek devices ever launch a large-screen smartphone? (Photo : Reuters)

Apple officials have denied that the tech giant has been working with the National Security Agency to tap iPhones after documents surfaced with details about implants in iOS systems.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company claims total unawareness of the "DROPOUTJEEP" software reportedly installed into iPhones, according to USA TODAY.

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"Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone," company spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said. "Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products."

The NSA reportedly placed software in every iPhone that can access text messages and contact lists and even activate the phone's camera.

Citing security researcher Jacob Appelbaum and German news magazine Der Spiegel, tech site The Daily Dot reported that virtually "every communication" sent through an Apple iPhone can be accessed by the government.

"Do you think Apple helped them with that?" Appelbaum earlier asked. "I hope Apple will clarify that."

The NSA program works through a software implant in the iPhone operating system.  The agency can send data requests that are automatically accepted by the iPhone, according to a flow chart in the documents.

Agency officials can see and hear just about anything through DROPOUTJEEP, which allows the NSA "to intercept SMS messages, access contact lists, locate a phone using cell tower data and even activate the device's microphone and camera," according to The Daily Dot.

The agency claims a 100 percent "success rate" for implanting iOS devices with the DROPOUTJEEP spyware.

"Either [the NSA] have a huge collection of exploits that work against Apple products, meaning they are hoarding information about critical systems that American companies produce, and sabotaging them, or Apple sabotaged it themselves," Appelbaum said at the Chaos Communication Conference in Hamburg, Germany. 

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