Apple does not follow, but helps users using hidden services on mobile devices
Recently, Jonathan Zdziarski (Jonathan Zdziarski), at the Hackers On Planet Earth conference in New York, published a report in which he talked about several hidden, undocumented background processes running on all iOS devices. The expert suggested that these functions are needed by Apple in order to organize surveillance of users when they receive requests from the authorities.
Jonathan Zdziarski, also known as NerveGas, was actively involved in the development of jailbreaks for the first iPhone models. He is the author of several books on developing applications for iOS. Those. the person is clearly “in the subject”.
Surprisingly, Apple did not ignore this report, but described the tasks of each process. For what, in their opinion, are these services.
Yes, the topic is yellowish of course. Therefore, it is not necessary to perceive the text below as some slogans and bouts of paranoia.
Actually, what's wrong with that? Just hidden services ... Yes, on mobile devices only the lazy one did not look for any bookmarks.
But the strange thing is that Apple does not deny their presence, but only says that this is not for surveillance, but for helping users.
What is the essence
On each iOS device, several undocumented services work that allow you to get all the information from the device (in theory, it should be encrypted), in the clear. It is also possible to install applications. Well, full control of traffic is certainly a heap. For example, the background services com.apple.pcapd and com.apple.mobile.file_relay are mentioned. Some of these services were previously known, but their functionality is constantly growing.
Whereas in previous versions of the platform, File Relay sources were AppleSupport, Network, WiFi, UserDatabases, CrashReporter and SystemConfiguration applications, then in iOS 7 the list already includes 43 sources, including Accounts, AddressBook, Caches, CoreLocation, FindMyiPhone, MapsLogs, Photos, Voicemail etc.
Detailscan be drawn directly from the work of Jonathan. It is important to note here that you can operate the services both locally, via USB, and remotely, via Wi-Fi or even (presumably) cellular communications. All that is needed for a successful attack is pairing with the device being attacked. Prior to the seventh version of iOS, “pairing” was performed automatically when connected to any external hardware (computer, other smartphone, “charging”), starting with iOS 7, this requires direct user permission. However, according to Jonathan, even in the case of iOS 7, an attacker just needs to steal a crypto key from any of the devices with which “pairing” has ever been successful, after which it will be possible to operate the above services without any difficulty.
Apple claimsThat these services are needed by the developers themselves first of all for debugging. Or to help users with customer support.
And here the dog actually rummaged.
Jonathan doubts that these services were made for debugging. Because they give out data, for developers it is obviously superfluous, and they function continuously, without requiring switching to debugging modes. Indeed, why does the vast majority of users have debugging mode turned on? For tech support? It is also unlikely, because many data are not issued in the form of files, but "raw", unsuitable for quick analysis or return to the device. In addition, the services are not mentioned in the documentation and are not addressed by any other Apple software (at least from the well-known Jonathan, but he knows a lot about it). Plus, they were obviously not invented by mistake, and then forgotten: they exist in iOS at least from version 4 (some longer), they are regularly updated and supplemented, and Zdziarski even managed to write to the Apple management, asking to clarify what and why,
And if the information was collected solely and exclusively by the authorities, by a court decision. But, according to Jonathan, third-party intermediary companies specializing in digital forensics (including the Russian Elcomsoft) are participating here: they are also aware of the existence of undocumented services and offer services and tools for their operation.
PS Actually, I think many have already accepted that manufacturers collect various, non-personal information about their users. But here we are talking about full access to an encrypted device. At what, apparently, and third parties. Interestingly, this will result in at least something other than a discussion on specialized resources?