Apple Accused of Providing Backdoor iOS Access to Indian Military

By , Jan 8, 2012

ZDNet has just published an interesting report claiming that Apple, along with both RIM and Nokia, has built in backdoor iOS access for the Indian Military, leaving text messages, voice calls, and data trails completely exposed.

As you can imagine, after the recent CarrierIQ scandal, this information is making some waves around the internet. And what’s even worse, it sounds like the hidden trapdoor has been used in some not-so-kosher situations… 

A few days ago, word started to spread that Symantec, the makers of Norton AntiVirus and other security software, had been hacked. As it turns out, the group responsible for the attack, the Lords of Dharamraja, has used the knowledge to infiltrate a wide array of highly-classified targets, including Indian Military Intelligence servers. The group has recently started publishing data that it uncovered from the breach, and one of the documents really stands out.

ZDNet’s Manan Kakkar explains:

“Earlier today I came across scans of a set of documents that are internal communications between the Indian Military. The documents claim the existence of a system known as RINOA SUR. While I did not find what SUR stands for, RINOA is RIM, Nokia, and Apple. And this is where things start to get very interesting. According to the set of documents, the RINOA SUR platform was used to spy on the USCC — the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission.”

From what we’ve gathered from the documents, and Kakkar’s report, it sounds as though Apple agreed to give the Indian Military access to its communications in exchange for Indian market presence.

We’re not real savvy in International Law, but we’re guessing that spying on the USCC is not ok. We’re also betting that once pro-privacy fighters like Senator Al Franken get wind of this information, there will be a full-blown investigation.

Stay tuned, this could get interesting.

What’s your take on the situation? Is this iOS backdoor really a big deal, or does it all just sound like a bad James Bond movie?

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  • http://twitter.com/arthurgeron Arthur Geron

    In 2 years with an iPhone what I`ve learnt is, we pay 600$ on a fucking expensive phone, to get our asses spyed on, tracking everywhere we have been to, and acessing all our info, iOS the os rated as most secure and shit, has turned itself on the worst spyware ever. Dissapoiting, I miss Steve Jobs, fu***** Tim Cook is the one responsible for this indeed, steve would NEVER do something like that(At least I hope so). #ImissSteve

    • Malay Mody

      youre dillusional. You think all of this happened in the last 2 months?? NO.

    • Malay Mody

      And the location tracking thing happened before Jobs died, so this is clearly not Cook’s fault. Additionally, many of these issues are software related, and Steve Jobs oversaw the creation of all versions of ios to date. Don’t start blaming people with valid reasons

      • http://twitter.com/arthurgeron Arthur Geron

        @Malay Mody
        I`m dillusional? Sorry if I think I don`t pay so much to get a phone that will leak all my info to bunch of ppl(with money), because THIS is for sure, just a little part of it all, this is just what we know, and as in 2 years on in 100, finding out twice that our info is being leaked without our permission is something really serious, and what I know is that if each year that passes we discover a new disappoiting hidden info leaking feature on the iOS is because there`s/there`ll allways be/ or there was always shit like that on iOS, I am a huge fan of apple and its gadgets, but I`ll NEVER approve something like that, If I pay for it, they should at least respect my privacy.
        The location tracking was retired after being discovered by the users, and was not as bad as indian ppl spying on us, now tell me, is that contract just a software bug? Steve maybe oversaw, but Cook is there now, and he can change everything he wants,remembering what I sayd, this is MY belief and what I belive is that Steve would never be responsible for this, he doesn`t need that kind of shit to get money running into Apple.

      • http://twitter.com/arthurgeron Arthur Geron

        Steve Jobs sold his car to start Apple company, now, do you really think at this point he would need this? Or ever plan to do this? No, he was a genius, apple was the greatest on until he passed away, I just hope Apple doesn`t loose the magic.

      • Anonymous

        I get where you’re coming from but you can’t blame all this on cook. There is absolutely no way that Cook could have orchestrated this whole scheme in the 2 months since Jobs died. Thats all I’m trying to say.

      • http://twitter.com/arthurgeron Arthur Geron

        I get your point too, but I have respect for steve, and I belive/hope he has nothing to do with it, since tim cook took the ceo position, he couls have done something about it, as he must know everything about his company. I didn’t like him since he decided that 1 year of waiting for a new iphone is worth just a new processor, but I belive iPhone 5 will rock, since steve was working on it for a long time.

    • http://twitter.com/alexjdz Alex Diaz

      Isn’t Blackberry OS the most secure OS?

      • Dylan Lewis

        It was recently jail broken.

      • http://twitter.com/alexjdz Alex Diaz

        It was the Playbook’s OS that was jailbroken.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MrNaji Naji Abe

    Thanks to everyone who’s helping to confirm these suspicions ! I’m sure this goes on everywhere !

  • http://twitter.com/kulcutah Michael Baker

    Wow. Hopefully it was just the economic commission. Still very bad for those 3 companies.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, Americans, always thinking their life is an action movie… Face it, you’re not important enough to be tracked.

    • http://twitter.com/arthurgeron Arthur Geron

      Just worth enough a huge illegal contract between apple and India, nothing much, If India want that, is for something I suppose, but sure, if you think like that, maybe you think there`s nothing on you or in your gadgets that would interest India..

  • Anonymous

    Every phone call we make is already tracked and analyzed by the Government for acts of Terrorism. If you think of it this way, practically ANYTHING you do on your phone is tracked….

  • Jon Garrett

    this shouldn’t surprise anyone. anything and everything you do electronically is traced, tracked and watched by someone.

    soon enough, anybody without the ‘mark’ will not be able to buy or sell anything.

  • http://twitter.com/purpledodi Jens Tinnerholm

    Why am i not suprised?

  • Anonymous

    wow, is this considered treason? Sorry I’m not good with intl/gov stuff