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Wikileaks yesterday published its latest round of allegedly leaked CIA documents, detailing aspects of the U.S. agency's "Cherry Blossom" firmware modification program, which uses modified versions of router firmware to turn networking devices into surveillance tools.

The document is the latest in WikiLeaks' "Vault 7" series of publications on CIA hacking methods. Previous leaks have detailed the agency's targeting of iOS devices and Macs, while this manual relates specifically to network routers: Once installed, the Cherry Blossom program can be used to monitor internet traffic, crawl for passwords, and redirect the target user to a particular website.

wikileaks_cia.jpg

The manual also describes how CIA agents might install the modified firmware. "In typical operation, a wireless device of interest is implanted with Cherry Blossom firmware, either using the Claymore tool or via a supply chain operation." While documents have not been made public that detail the "Claymore" tool, the latter tactic refers to the practice of intercepting the target device somewhere between the factory and the end user.

The document lists several network products as susceptible to its hacking protocol, including devices from Asus, Belkin, Buffalo, Dell, DLink, Linksys, Motorola, Netgear, Senao, and US Robotics. Apple's AirPort networking equipment does not appear on the list, however.

The CIA has struggled to penetrate Apple's network router hardware in the past due to a combination of the company's robust encryption and its use of proprietary hardware. Previous Harpy Eagle documents published by Wikileaks show apparently unsuccessful efforts to "gain root access on an Apple Airport Extreme and Time Capsule via local and/or remote means to install a persistent rootkit into the flash storage of the devices".

The Cherry Blossom document dates to 2012, so it's likely CIA methods have moved on in an effort to keep up to date with changing networking hardware. In a response the same day that the iOS device hacking efforts came out, Apple said that many of the vulnerabilities in that leak were already patched. Apple reportedly ceased development of its AirPort networking devices last year.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Apple Devices Escape Mention in WikiLeaks' Latest 'Vault 7' CIA Hacking Documents
 

Solomani

macrumors 601
Sep 25, 2012
4,454
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Slapfish, North Carolina

Solomani

macrumors 601
Sep 25, 2012
4,454
9,749
Slapfish, North Carolina
Making it harder and harder for the private info to be tapped into. Gotta love Apple for this.
No. Like I posted above, there are credible reports that Apple is already dropping its (AirPort) router business. That means that in the future, all Apple servers and networks will have to rely on routers made by those other companies like Dell, Cisco, Belkin, Linksys, etc.
 

elvisimprsntr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2013
815
1,199
Florida
Apple likely dropped their AirPort and TimeCapsule products because it's a low volume, low margin, commodity business, which is already served by third party companies. it dilutes their resources ($, engineering, manufacturing, and premium retail space) from their core capabilities and higher margin products.
 
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Col4bin

macrumors 68000
Oct 2, 2011
1,780
1,373
El Segundo
No. Like I posted above, there are credible reports that Apple is already dropping its (AirPort) router business. That means that in the future, all Apple servers and networks will have to rely on routers made by those other companies like Dell, Cisco, Belkin, Linksys, etc.
I've tried many other competing range extenders in the past and have generally found that Belkin, DLink and Linksys products are vastly inferior and don't play nice with my Macs. The only consistent success I've had beyond Apple is with Netgear; currently using a Nighthawk EX700 and it's been nothing short of amazing.
 

orbital~debris

macrumors 68000
Mar 3, 2004
1,740
4,014
UK, Europe
Love how the rumour of Apple cancelling the AirPort product line persists despite any real evidence. :rolleyes:

The products remain on sale, and are still supported and receiving firmware updates.

If Apple are considering ceding the market for this type of product, hopefully their privacy-focussed stance will necessitate a decision otherwise (after all, they do like to have ownership of the 'total system' for customers, so it would be strange - and privacy-difficult - for them to leave networking alone).
 

Avieshek

Suspended
Dec 7, 2013
701
1,128
India
I've tried many other competing range extenders in the past and have generally found that Belkin, DLink and Linksys products are vastly inferior and don't play nice with my Macs. The only consistent success I've had beyond Apple is with Netgear; currently using a Nighthawk EX700 and it's been nothing short of amazing.
Used TP-LINK? Currently using, fantastic.

Used Belkin & D-Link. It's a pain, D-Link specifically sucked. I feel & share your mention with Mac compatibility.
 
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elvisimprsntr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2013
815
1,199
Florida
I've tried many other competing range extenders in the past and have generally found that Belkin, DLink and Linksys products are vastly inferior and don't play nice with my Macs. The only consistent success I've had beyond Apple is with Netgear; currently using a Nighthawk EX700 and it's been nothing short of amazing.

Roll your own commercial grade firewall with http://www.pfsense.org on HW from http://protectli.com and open source firmware (DD-WRT, openWRT, etc.) on a WLAN router of your choice. I set up pfSense earlier this year to add dual WAN for LTE failover and couldn’t be more please with the features, performance, and reliability. I’ve been using http://www.dd-wrt.com router firmware for 12+ years.
 
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MistrSynistr

macrumors 68000
May 15, 2014
1,650
1,997
No. Like I posted above, there are credible reports that Apple is already dropping its (AirPort) router business. That means that in the future, all Apple servers and networks will have to rely on routers made by those other companies like Dell, Cisco, Belkin, Linksys, etc.

I love my Apple Router. I have never had an issue with it and have had it since 2013 I believe. Great product.
 

GrumpyMom

macrumors G4
Sep 11, 2014
11,021
17,066
Why is the government doing this? I guess I want to know: is it still okay for me to say in front of Echo Dot or write in my emails that President Trump looks like he's wearing an orange ferret on his head? Or am I living in Communist China now?
 

Glassed Silver

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2007
2,096
2,564
Kassel, Germany
Why is the government doing this? I guess I want to know: is it still okay for me to say in front of Echo Dot or write in my emails that President Trump looks like he's wearing an orange ferret on his head? Or am I living in Communist China now?
The funny truth is that many of the things the US warned its population about during the Cold War whilst reminding people that the superior West is free and ripe of opportunities are now - or have been for a very long time - part of their own toolkit and that of many other nations who are "friends" of the US, the West or simply try to strike good trade deals with us.

If you like liberty and privacy the times are rough.

Glassed Silver:ios
 

webbuzz

macrumors 68020
Jul 24, 2010
2,248
7,033
Why is the government doing this? I guess I want to know: is it still okay for me to say in front of Echo Dot or write in my emails that President Trump looks like he's wearing an orange ferret on his head? Or am I living in Communist China now?
Been happening for decades. I can say with 100% certainty, that a telecommunications manufacturer, was asked to provide a means for law enforcement to enable the microphone on several products.

The manufacturer told them to pound sand.
 

miknos

Suspended
Mar 14, 2008
940
793
Google should be in the list. They upload MAC addresses to Google servers for "product improvement". God knows what else.
 
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macs4nw

macrumors 601
The funny truth is that many of the things the US warned its population about during the Cold War whilst reminding people that the superior West is free and ripe of opportunities are now - or have been for a very long time - part of their own toolkit and that of many other nations who are "friends" of the US, the West or simply try to strike good trade deals with us.

If you like liberty and privacy the times are rough.

Glassed Silver:ios
..... and unfortunately the future is even bleaker :( :eek:
 

Robert.Walter

macrumors 68030
Jul 10, 2012
2,513
3,350
Apple likely dropped their AirPort and TimeCapsule products because it's a low volume, low margin, commodity business, which is already served by third party companies. it dilutes their resources ($, engineering, manufacturing, and premium retail space) from their core capabilities and higher margin products.

Hardly a commodity product when you have several USP's, i.e. Security, simplicity, design and Apple halo.

Even if a trivial contributor to overall profit, if it can earn 30% profit, it should earn its place in the portfolio.

If one has all Apple gear, what's the benefit of class leading security in an iPhone or Mac if you are comprimised at your modem-network gateway?

I sure hope Apple has an Airport surprise up its sleeve in September, or like with the Mac Pro Apple reconsiders it's decision and reverses itself in the interest of its customers.
 

lec0rsaire

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2017
1,524
1,448
I will not let go of my 5th gen TC until the day it dies. Rock solid reliability and protection. I simply don't trust the majority of commercial routers especially with stock firmware. While you can never full trust any company, Apple's products are the only ones I trust right now. They have shown an interest in consumer and now enterprise privacy. I hope Apple continues to support it with firmware upgrades as long as it remains viable for them to do so. It works so well with all of my Apple hardware, the ease of wireless backups and I've had zero downtime. Sure it's expensive for what it is especially in 2017 and it has its limitations but it is a fantastic router. I really hope Apple reconsiders things and releases a 6th gen once ad is fully supported.
 
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