A recently published report will likely give smartphone users reason to question the security of their device. The details are coming by way of Spiegel who have said that “it is possible for the NSA to tap most sensitive data held” on Android, iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones. The accessible data looks to include contact lists, text messages, notes and your location history.
The details coming from the report mention how the NSA is able to “tap” into this data. But with that in mind, it doesn’t always appear as if the smartphone is the primary target to get that information. In the case of the iPhone, it was said the NSA is able to get to the data through the computer the iPhone syncs with.
In the case of the iPhone, it was said the NSA uses a variety of scripts that allow access to “at least 38 iPhone features.” There wasn’t much above and beyond what was already mentioned for Android, however it was said that the NSA has special groups dedicated to each mobile platform.
BlackBerry users may want to be worried about their email. This one could be a bigger concern as this was a system once claimed as uncrackable. BlackBerry officials did tell Spiegel they do not program any sort of back door, however they also said how “it is not for us to comment on media reports regarding alleged government surveillance of telecommunications traffic.” Basically, a non-answer.
The good news here is that while it appears the NSA has been able to gather information from your smartphone, it doesn’t look like this was something that was widely used. According to the report, this has been more of a targeted practice. Though, while not widespread, it was also said the use has been tailored specifically to individual users and at times — done without the knowledge of the user or the companies involved.