Apple tech note illuminates purported ‘backdoor’ services

Just a couple days after a security researcher alleged that iOS contained “backdoor” access to user information, Apple has posted a knowledge base article explaining many of the systems that were under scrutiny.

In the article, iOS: About diagnostic capabilities, Apple calls out three services: a packet capture tool called “pcapd,” one called “file_relay,” and a third dubbed “house_arrest.” According to Apple, all three of these technologies are used “to help enterprise IT departments, developers, and AppleCare troubleshoot issues.” The company also emphasized that users must unlock their devices and connect them (via a cable or iTunes Wi-Fi Sync) to a trusted computer for the information to be retrieved; and even then, data transferred between the two is encrypted, and the keys are not shared with Apple.

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