Apple Says Recent Leak Of CIA iPhone Exploits Poses No Threat
Posted on March 24, 2017 12:11 PM by Rob Williams
Earlier this week, whistleblowing website WikiLeaks released a trove of information that detailed CIA efforts to gather information through the use of malware. It also talks about some of the tools the CIA used to break into mobile devices, such as Apple’s iPhone.
It’s been a secret to no one that the CIA and other US government agencies have been using less-than-ideal means to gather intelligence, and it’s become clear that these efforts are not going to be pulled back. As a result, companies like Apple have increased their own efforts to continue preventing our personal data from winding up in places it shouldn’t.
Credit: Lisa Bettany
Whenever a leak of this nature occurs, it can instill fear in those using devices that agencies have been known to target. Fortunately, in this particular case, there’s nothing to stress over. In talking to TechCrunch, Apple says that its preliminary assessment raises no red flags, and that all of the exploits detailed have long been patched. The full statement:
We have preliminarily assessed the WikiLeaks disclosures from this morning. Based on our initial analysis, the alleged iPhone vulnerability affected iPhone 3G only and was fixed in 2009 when iPhone 3GS was released. Additionally, our preliminary assessment shows the alleged Mac vulnerabilities were previously fixed in all Macs launched after 2013.
We have not negotiated with WikiLeaks for any information. We have given them instructions to submit any information they wish through our normal process under our standard terms. Thus far, we have not received any information from them that isn’t in the public domain. We are tireless defenders of our users’ security and privacy, but we do not condone theft or coordinate with those that threaten to harm our users.
It’s interesting that Apple calls attention to the fact that it hasn’t at all worked with WikiLeaks. It’s not being given privileged information, so tying into what was said in the blurb above, the data the company is analyzing is the same data that any one of us could analyze.
And to give an idea of how much data there is in this current leak, WikiLeaks notes on the release’s FAQ that there are “considerably more stories than there are journalists or academics who are in a position to write them”. So if you happen to be a journalist that writes about such information, you sure have your work cut out for you.