CIA program sought to compromise security of Apple devices

Researchers working with the agency would apparently present their latest efforts at a yearly meeting called the "Jamboree". Tactics included creating a modified version of Xcode, the software used by developers to build apps for OS X and iOS, according to The Intercept:

The security researchers also claimed they had created a modified version of Apple's proprietary software development tool, Xcode, which could sneak surveillance backdoors into any apps or programs created using the tool. Xcode, which is distributed by Apple to hundreds of thousands of developers, is used to create apps that are sold through Apple's App Store.

The researchers said that they could also use this modified version of Xcode to steal passwords and messages off of affected devices. They further claimed that they could use the modified Xcode to grab data from multiple apps:

Researchers also claimed the modified Xcode could "force all iOS applications to send embedded data to a listening post." It remains unclear how intelligence agencies would get developers to use the poisoned version of Xcode.

Also unclear is how successful the CIA has been in implementing their efforts against Apple, and Apple itself has declined to comment. It should be noted that the agency hasn't discovered a backdoor, but are rather working to attack specific points they believe to be vulnerable.

Apple has said on multiple occasions that they have not worked with any government agencies to create backdoors into their devices and software. Apple CEO Tim Cook in particular often notes the value of privacy for the company's devices and software, penning a letter on privacy in September 2014.

You can read the full report at The Intercept at the link below.

Nick Arnott contributed to this article.

Source: The Intercept