Apple’s iMessage Services Proving Impossible for DEA To Tap

Want to make sure that your messages are impossible to intercept? Why not use Apple’s iMessage service. According to a DEA report the United States government is having a hard time cracking into Apple’s encrypted messaging service for domestic lawful wiretapping. This after an investigation the DEA conducted last February was thwarted as the surveillance targets began using iMessage for their communications.


The intelligence note titled “APPLE’S iMESSAGES: A CHALLENGE FOR DEA INTERCEPT” details how communication between two Apple devices using iMessage is hard to intercept. This was discovered by the San Jose Resident Office of the DEA. They say that text messages sent using iMessages between Apple products are not captured by pen register, trap and trace devices or Title III interceptions.

Messages sent between an Apple device and a non-Apple device is more likely to be intercepted as it uses SMS protocols. The easy way to intercept the message is to perform it at the non-Apple device.

While messages sent using the iMessage service may be hard to intercept it does not prove that the government will not be able to read it. The DEA can simply go to Apple with a court order asking for their cooperation and we’re sure that they will give up the data. Unlike Google, Twitter or even Microsoft the company does not have a transparency report. This means the public will not know how many times the federal government has made requests to get information and how many times the company has complied with these requests.

iMessage is a free instant messaging service  that allows anyone with an iOS or Mac device to send messages over Wi-Fi, 3G or LTE. Text, photos and videos can be exchanged between compatible devices.

via cnet

One Comment

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  1. The DEA probablly understands that mac is just so full of holes that they are not bothering to mess with it. Moreover if the government says they can not do something, that doesn’t mean anything. This is the same government that says they are not interested in something, yet still develop and spend millions of dollars on said area. The same government that has as many supercomputers as they feel like using. Lastly, if you feel like intercepting messages all you need to do it either capture packets from one or both of the machines. via tcpdump or they can just ask the ISPs to hand over your traffic, either live or 7 years after the fact. Then just look at the traffic, find out what type of encryption s being used (knowing apple it is either DES or AES), and then use all the computing power they have to decrypt your traffic. They just want to either bring apple’s self worth up or already have a way to disgrace this encryption method.

    Protip: unless it is using something like PGP, there is no way that will be unbreakable. But if it touches the network, there is always a log of it somewhere.

    Source: 14 years of experience in computer security and network administration.

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