Wikileak’s Assange warns of Apple iTunes spy portal

“Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says there’s ‘flaw’ in iTunes,” Jonny Evans reports for Computerworld. “He claims this flaw is used by those shady security/surveillance firms to take over people’s computers. ‘iTunes has a flaw in it and that flaw is automatically used by some of these [surveillance] companies to take over whatever computer system is running iTunes. And there are these sorts of backdoors into every popular phone, into every popular computer and every popular computer program,’ Assange claimed.”

Evans reports, “The news will likely pile on the concerns as users consider the impact of Carrier IQ and additional Wikileaks allegations… But what about the iTunes back door? Is it real? Are iTunes users being spied on? Has the back door been fixed, or is it there by design? I asked Apple this morning, but the company has so far failed to clarify this important matter.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

45 Comments

  1. That’s it. No more iTunes, computer, smart phone, landline, credit cards, or utility service. I’m going to live inside a hollow tree stump and only use pennies for cash. Ah, sweet privacy.

    1. Not sure if he is “an ass” or not, but he definitely has his own marginal leftists views and agenda.

      Whether these views are good or not is debatable, but *some* of his work with Wikileaks serves good purpose of exposing government’s manipulation practices.

      These leaks teach governments that the lies can come out, so officials, in the future, would not be so bold in lying to public, while allowing factual and honest communication between each other. The Ministry of Truth should only stay in Orwell’s famous book.

      1. Only about 0.001% of what Assange has “exposed” pointed to any lies any government. He has endangered lives and spread distrust. Governments almost always put on a good face to each other — even if they hate each other — that’s called diplomacy. Then in private, internal communications the government officials speak openly about what is really felt, desired, hoped and planned. Putting all that private (to a given government) out there just made it much more difficult for all the various governments to get along.

        Diplomats can (and historically usually have) ignored extremists who scream, “Don’t negotiate with those guys! They hate us!” As the diplomats have been able to say, “That’s just your opinion”, and move forward. However, with the information leaked the extremists go, “See we have PROOF they hate us.” And then going even further they loudly trumpet snippets out of context saying, “See this PROVES they mean us harm. They’re clearly up to no good.” When this happens the governments and diplomats cannot ignore it any further. They must act on this information or risk significant negative actions (sometimes violent) in their own county.

        Let’s say you’re going to buy a new car. You’re going to negotiate with a dealer for that new car. You have lots and lots of thoughts about the car, options, the salesman, the dealership, what your income is and what your spendable income is. But once, several years ago you stiffed a friend on the repayment of an IOU. Someone who knows that friend now publishes the fact that you didn’t repay that IOU. That third party also breaks into your financial systems and records all your conversations — AND — now publishes 100% of everything you’ve ever said about buying that car including your income and every place you’ve spent money for the past five years. Plus that third party also publishes what tactics you intend to use to get the best deal you can on that car.

        How easy do you think it is going to be to get a decent deal on that car? The owner of the dealership knows everything about your and your ability to buy that car — and knows every tactic you ever considered about the car buying experience. AND the the owner is screaming at the salesman that he MUST, absolutely MUST, make you pay 20% more than sticker price because of what he now “knows” about you.

        It is a simple comparative example, but it is 100% relevant.

        So, IMHO, anyone who truly thinks Assange did the world a favor is an idiot.

        1. There are some examples of truly Owellian behaviour by officials. It was great that this was uncovered, because the scale of brainwashing the government produces was amazing — they made situations look upside-down about some critical and historical event.

  2. Well, it is practically possible, and indeed hundreds of “security” companies worldwide are contracted to produce tools which are opposite of concept of security or privacy. This is reality, and there are many documents about that (not only from Wikileaks).

    However, Assange’s words that assert that concretely iTunes has the “back door” need no less concrete confirmation, which is still not available. So this assertion might turn out to be more of life views/political expression, rather than description of an actual concrete problem.

    And, obviously, it is quite stupid to ask any company if they have “back door” designed into their software/services. Even if they did it (were “forced to” by government security agencies), then there is no way they could publicly admit it.

    But, again, for now there is nothing concrete to talk about in relation to iTunes’ supposed “back door”.

  3. As I’ve said in other threads, Apple’s products are the most highly scrutinized on the market. Hackers are constantly pulling apart the code and the hardware to see what makes it tick.

    If there was indeed a “back door” into iTunes, there is no way, NO F***IN’ WAY that only the attention whore Assange would be privy to it. If Assange knew about, so would half the blogs on the net. Stuff like that just can’t be kept secret any more.

    ——RM

  4. yes, all major computer operating systems and software have backdoors, sometimes for the programmers, sometimes for their company, sometimes for the government

    telephone traffic is monitored by government
    why would we think texting and mobile use would be excluded in this modern age?

    all this is nothing new

    1. As a software programmer I can tell you that, no, not all software has a backdoor, thats retarded. Some if not all OS’s may have one but not all or probably even most software does. You’ve watched too many spy movies.

  5. Well Assange is wrong, again.

    I first read about this in the Telegraph a couple days ago.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/8912714/Apple-iTunes-flaw-allowed-government-spying-for-3-years.html

    If you read the article very closely there is no “portal.” The idea is that some company called “Gamma International” created software that would allow someone to impersonate Apple and install a malicious iTunes update. If you dig further you find out that Apple knew about the supposed “flaw” and ignored it for years, which didn’t sound right, unless Apple felt there was no danger.

    If you go to krebsonsecurity.com at http://krebsonsecurity.com/2011/11/apple-took-3-years-to-fix-finfisher-trojan-hole/

    you find an update that says:

    Update, 3:11 p.m. ET: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Amato was able to exploit the iTunes update flaw on OS X systems. While Apple’s advisory states that this flaw is present on OS X systems that lack the iTunes 10.5.1 patch, Amato said he was unable to replicate the problem on OS X systems during his research.

    Boom.

      1. and when someone as high profile as this dumbass is, some random geek proves you wrong…. (Not an attack on you TheloniousMac)

        And the “News” media will STILL say Assange is right even after he’s proven wrong.

  6. I still trust Apple more than Assange. The guy is a smarmy megalomaniac who has taken something as important as whistle blowing and made it a way to get attention on a global scale, and not for the important information that needs to be disseminated, but for himself.

    Support Openleaks, they have a much better method than just throwing everything on the web and saying Hey world, LOOK AT ME!

  7. On the one hand people are running around shouting “Big brother” when Carrier IQ is unveiled. Yet on the other hand a completely “Anti Big Brother” Wikileaks is being marred by stupid labels tossed around by what i can only assume are equally stupid brainwashed brains. Yeah, I expect there will be equally stupid reaction to this message by these scared shitless by big brother yet strangely brainwashed and Patriotic cases of Jackal & Hyde’s.

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