Apple hires developer behind Edward Snowden’s favorite chat app; Signal

apple inc

Apple has hired lots of employers lately, but adding Frederic Jacobs to it’s security team caught our eye especially now when the company faces the FBI regarding unlocking an iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino terrorist, and also as it plans on increasing it’s iPhone and iCloud security protocols.

Frederic Jacobs is a developer based in Switzerland who worked to develop the messaging app Signal — the secure encrypted messaging service that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden uses.

Today Frederic announced that he is joining Apple this summer to work in its CoreOS security team. Jacobs left Whisper Systems (the company behind Signal) earlier this year after spending two and half years with them.

According to Jacobs, It’s just an internship, but we all know this could be a sign that the Cupertino-based company is very serious about locking down its products with encryption. Signal has been praised by the cybersecurity communities and seen as the best encrypted messaging app. Signal was also one of the few apps to receive top marks for security in an EFF survey.

Although Jacobs’ role with Apple isn’t clear, but at this time all we can say is that it is as a result of Apple working towards beefing up its security.

The Apple and FBI saga still continues, currently the FBI director James Comey denied wanting to create a backdoor or setting a master key loose;

We don’t want to break anyone’s encryption or set a master key loose on the land. I hope thoughtful people will take the time to understand that

James Comey
FBI Director

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook still stands on the dangers of creating a master key and termed it as “equivalent of cancer” which would compromise the security and safety of it’s customers.

“[A] master key to turn 100 million locks, even if in the possession of a person you trust, could be stolen,” Tim Cook said in an interview with ABC’s David Muir. “You can imagine the target on that piece. I’m not saying [that] the government would abuse it, but there are lots of bad guys in the world. Millions of people have [already] had their personal information stolen by hackers.”

Signal is a free and open-source encrypted voice calling and instant messaging application developed by Open Whisper Systems and is published under the GPLv3 license for iOS and Android platforms. It uses end-to-end encryption to secure communications to other Signal users. Signal can be used to send and receive encrypted instant messages, attachments, group and media messages. Users can independently verify the identity of their messaging correspondents by comparing key fingerprints out-of-band. During calls, users can check the integrity of the data channel by checking if two words match on both ends of the call.

Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne on April 1, 1976, to develop and sell personal computers. It was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc. on January 3, 1977, and was renamed as Apple Inc. The American multinational technology company designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. Its hardware products include the iPhone smartphone, the iPad tablet computer, the Mac personal computer, the iPod portable media player, and the Apple Watch smartwatch. Apple’s consumer software includes the OS X and iOS operating systems, the iTunes media player, the Safari web browser, and the iLife and iWork creativity and productivity suites. Its online services include the iTunes Store, the iOS App Store and Mac App Store, and iCloud. Apple is headquartered in Cupertino, California.

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