Amidst all the NSA-related revelations stemming from Edward Snowden is a recent one reported by Der Spiegel of a program called “DROPOUTJEEP”, which purportedly gave the NSA full control over a target’s iPhone. Everything: location, the cameras, the microphone. The NSA’s description claimed a “100% success rate”, which in turn prompted questions as to whether Apple was aiding and abetting the NSA and had provided some sort of backdoor. Apple issued a statement denying any such cooperation.
It seems pretty clear that DROPOUTJEEP was/is a jailbreak — full control, but requires access to the device. It’s not some sort of remote switch they can flip. Der Spiegel’s information dates back to 2008, but I think it’s pretty safe to assume that anything the jailbreak community can do, the NSA can do better. If you’re an NSA target and they get their hands on your iPhone, game over.
★ Friday, 3 January 2014