TECH

Apple Denies iOS 'Backdoor' Reports, But How Safe Are You?

24/07/2014 10:58 BST | Updated 24/07/2014 10:59 BST

Apple has denied reports from a security researcher which alleged a secret 'backdoor' had been placed in more than 600 million iOS devices.

The researcher, Jonathan Zdziarski, reported on the security flaws in a presentation at the Hope X security conference and in a journal paper. The paper, "Identifying Backdoors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices", claimed to show that Apple has built in tools to its operating system that can pull down data from any iOS device.

Zdziarski said Apple "has been maintaining and enhancing this code, even with iOS 7; they know it’s there", and was "dishing out a lot of data behind our backs" to various government agencies.

While he later clarified that he was not accusing Apple of working "with" the NSA, he said its software had made it easier for governments to track iOS devices.

But Apple has now denied the report and has listed the functions of all the software Zdziarski identified and for what they're used.

It said:

“A user must have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer before that computer is able to access this limited diagnostic data. The user must agree to share this information, and data is never transferred without their consent.

“As we have said before, Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services.”