Sandia National Laboratories worked with the CIA in trying to break the security of Apple’s iPhones and iPads, according to the online reporting site The Intercept.
The publication said it based its story on “top-secret” documents received directly from whistleblower Edward Snowden. It alleges Sandia researchers tried to find security flaws in Apple devices to open “backdoors” for surveillance of any device.
The Intercept said Sandia personnel discussed their efforts with the CIA at a conference in Virginia called the Jamboree – a secret annual gathering launched in 2006 by the CIA’s Information Operations Center, which conducts covert cyberattacks.
Sandia communications personnel referred Journal inquiries about The Intercept allegations to the National Nuclear Security Administration, which is in charge of the national laboratories. The NNSA declined to comment.
The Intercept story said Sandia’s efforts are part of a broad effort by the CIA and other defense and intelligence agencies to find ways of breaking encryption by Apple, Microsoft and other companies to open devices to government surveillance.