Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 9th Jan 2012 10:08 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Well, well, well, what have we here? Hackers have gained access to internal documents from the Indian Military (shared on the web), and in it, it is revealed that RIM, Nokia, and Apple have added backdoors to their mobile software (BlackBerry, S40 (supposedly), and iOS) which the Indian Military's intelligence service then used to spy on the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (the USCC). The backdoors were added by RIM, Nokia, and Apple in exchange for Indian market presence.
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Member since:

Who says that bluetooth or USB3 is close source?

There are open source implementations of all these protocols.

Of course, ultimately, a real audit of any hardware would require being able to audit every piece of software that runs on a device, including its firmware, but it is interesting how happy Nokia, Apple and RIM are to give away the security of their phones for market share.

Reply Parent Score: 4

arpan Member since:

It is possible that the backdoor isn't in the software on the phone, but on the server side. For example, RIM/Apple etc. could give the Indian government access to specific emails sent from India etc. through their services. That would also make it easier to conceal.

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Not2Sure Member since:

This would not affect secure communications on the blackberry network. RIM does not have the encryption keys shared between the device and the BES server that it neither hosts nor controls. Might be possible there is a backdoor in BES but that would be in violation of its contractual obligations to the point it would bankrupt the company.

Now just as in the recent brouhaha regarding the Middle East nothing prevents a government from pressuring telco's in its jurisidction from coughing up its traffic. So consumer traffic coming from consumer blackberry devices routed through telco BIS servers would certainly be (and are) susceptible. Even (especially?) here in the US that's the situation. Not really an Apple, RIM, or Android issue. It's channel thing, imho.

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jabbotts Member since:

These are companies in the business of manufacturing profit for shareholders. They are not altruistic engines for social change.

"Intersting" for me would have been seeing any of them risk access to the Indian market by publicly challenging the government request.

Reply Parent Score: 4