NSA Can Hack Your Smartphone

Also, the sky is blue.
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2013 9:33 AM CDT
NSA Can Hack Most Smartphones
In this Feb. 10, 2011 file photo, an Apple iPhone 4G.   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

More shocking NSA news that shouldn't be shocking to any resident of planet Earth: It turns out that the whiz kids over at the National Security Agency have the capability to access a broad range of data on most smartphones out there, including iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices. This according to "top secret NSA documents" cited in an exclusive report in der Spiegel, which the AP notes is co-bylined by Laura Poitras. Yes, the NSA can access data that includes your contact lists, SMS messages, notes, and GPS information; the agency has also reportedly set up teams to deal with the specifics of different operating systems. The documents don't appear to indicate mass spying, but rather targeted individuals.

This is particularly bad news for BlackBerry, notes Gizmodo, which has long touted its email as ultra-secure. The NSA documents do note that it was temporarily unable to hack BlackBerries, but that a change in RIM's data compression in March 2010 restored access. The response of the NSA team dedicated to BlackBerry: "Champagne!" RIM is refusing comment, other than to deny it had installed a "'back door' pipeline to our platform." Spiegel's full report is due out tomorrow. Meanwhile, iPhone users shouldn't be too smug: The report says the NSA had access to at least 38 iPhone features. (More NSA stories.)

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