Indo-Asian News Service, 24 March 2017
A day after WikiLeaks published its second archive of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) files claiming the agency developed hacking devices for Apple products, the Cupertino-based tech company has refuted security vulnerabilities in its products.
WikiLeaks on Thursday released documents, originated with the CIA, which detailed methods for compromising Apple devices if an agent was able to gain physical access to the device, TechCrunch reported.
"We have preliminarily assessed the Wikileaks disclosures from this morning. Based on our initial analysis, the alleged iPhone vulnerability affected iPhone 3G only and was fixed in 2009 when iPhone 3GS was released," Apple said in a statement.
"Additionally, our preliminary assessment shows the alleged Mac vulnerabilities were previously fixed in all Macs launched after 2013," the company added.
Nicknamed "Vault 7," Wikileaks' newest archive of documents is the second in a series of documents allegedly taken from a secure CIA network.
"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. Thus far, we have not received any information from them that isn't in the public domain," the Apple statement read.
"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," the tech giant added.
Earlier, after a hacker or group of hackers threatened to remotely wipe data from millions of iPhones including photos, videos and messages, Apple denied any such breach into iPhones.
The hackers, who call themselves 'Turkish Crime Family', asked for $75,000 (roughly Rs. 49 lakhs) in Bitcoin or Ethereum (a form of crypto-currency) or $100,000 (roughly Rs. 65 lakhs) worth of iTunes gift cards in exchange for deleting a large cache of iCloud and other Apple email accounts, Vice blog Motherboard reported.
Reacting to the threat, Apple told Fortune: "There have not been any breaches in any of Apple's systems including iCloud and Apple ID. The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services."
The hackers claimed to have access to nearly 559 million Apple email and iCloud accounts.
The hackers provided screenshots of alleged emails between the group and members of Apple's security team and threatened to reset iCloud accounts and remotely wipe victim's Apple devices on April 7 unless Apple pays them.
The Apple spokesperson, however, said that Apple is "actively monitoring to prevent unauthorised access to user accounts and are working with law enforcement to identify the criminals involved."