Apple On Latest WikiLeaks CIA Documents: No Worries, Exploits Have Long Been Patched
WikiLeaks has dropped a fresh new document dump detailing more exploits the government used to hack into iOS devices and Macs, but Apple ensures those exploits are old news.
There's been a shakeup recently on the tech scene as WikiLeaks started publishing a massive trove of documents outlining what exploits the Central Intelligence Agency used to gain access to a wide range of devices.
The WikiLeaks CIA hacking leaks have stirred great concerns over privacy and security, leading many to fear that the CIA has been eavesdropping on their activity by monitoring their devices.
Apple Responds To WikiLeaks CIA Hack Documents
Earlier this month when the first batch of WikiLeaks CIA documents surfaced, Apple already said that the iOS exploits detailed in the files were old and had already been patched.
At the time, WikiLeaks promised to add more documents to expose the CIA's hacking methods. It kept its word, now dumping a new set of documents detailing CIA tools for hacking Macs and iPhones.
The new WikiLeaks CIA document trove is called Dark Matter and references a number of CIA projects to breach Apple devices. Moreover, the latest leak reveals that those tools not only granted access to Macs and iPhones, but also kept the infection active even if users reinstalled the operating system.
Apple has again responded to the leak, basically reiterating what it stated when the first WikiLeaks CIA dump hit the scene. More specifically, the company insists that the exploits detailed in WikiLeaks' documents are old and they have been patched long ago, therefore the CIA can't use them anymore.
Apple: 'We Do Not Condone Theft'
In a statement to TechCrunch, Apple explains that the iPhone vulnerability affected only the old iPhone 3G and was fixed all the way back in 2009, while the Mac vulnerabilities were patched in all Macs that hit the market after 2013.
"We have not negotiated with Wikileaks for any information. We have given them instructions to submit any information they wish through our normal process under our standard terms," says Apple. "Thus far, we have not received any information from them that isn't in the public domain. We are tireless defenders of our users' security and privacy, but we do not condone theft or coordinate with those that threaten to harm our users."
Apple designs its devices with security in mind, aiming to make them highly resilient to hacks even in person, let alone remotely. Successfully performing and maintaining a remote hack on an Apple device is painstakingly difficult, which is one of the reasons the new WikiLeaks CIA hack documents drew so much attention.
Long story short, Apple says the exploits detailed in the latest WikiLeaks Dark Matter dump are old and no longer pose threats. On the other hand, it's worth taking into account that the CIA and other government agencies are always looking for new ways to obtain intelligence and although those exploits have been patched, new ones could take their place. On the bright side, Apple typically patches any vulnerability as soon as it's brought to light by security researchers or revealed by legal discovery.