I've got a iPhone 6s on the EE network. Today I got a SMS from +44 865 6696 which had the content "Message not found".

http://i.imgur.com/z28JCCv.png http://i.imgur.com/Atow38C.png

If I put the number into a t9 predictive text emulator, it spells "Unknown"

I've found a source on InfoWars that suggest it's exploiting a backdoor built by Apple for the NSA to spy on people; but I'm unsure.

To find out, I called a contact I’ve known for a few years who is an expert in cyber security. He’s been one of the people closely watching the Edward Snowden disclosures and the NSA surveillance issue. He obviously asked me not to reveal his identity, so I won’t.

He told me that this has been going on for over a year and that he believes the phone calls are a vector by which the NSA can install surveillance code onto iPhone devices but only if you answer the phone. Once you answer, a so-called “digital payload” is quickly downloaded to your phone while you are saying “Hello? Hello?”

Mysterious phone calls from 865-6696 may install nsa surveillance code on your iphone

Is this claimed backed by evidence or at least considered realistic by security experts?

  • 1
    That seems like a pretty flimsy back door. – Reinstate Monica -- notmaynard Jun 15 '16 at 14:30
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    What the T9 text emulator has to do with the SMS? t9 is a tech for quick typing (akin to swipe) , it has nothing to with security. – T. Sar Jun 15 '16 at 14:36
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    Related: Why am I getting calls from these strange numbers? from twilio, a cloud communication service. Seems reasonable for other carrier+phone combinations to experience something similar. – ff524 Jun 16 '16 at 3:43
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    @Oddthinking With some technical knowledge, it is very easy to debunk all the gibberish in the article, which is linked in the question. I am not sure however how to put that together in an answer fulfilling the standards required here. It might even be that the question is better suited for the "Information Security" Stackexchange. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jun 16 '16 at 10:02
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    If the NSA actually forced Apple to put in a back door, they wouldn't need a text message (or at least, you'd never see it). That's assuming they didn't just go after whatever is stored on Apple's servers. Further, text messages themselves are too short to carry a malicious payload (you'd need a lot of them), and it's debatable whether the server would preserve the malformed characters required. There was one that affected android, but the actual infection vector was via a link; the actual vulnerable code was elsewhere. – Clockwork-Muse Jun 18 '16 at 14:51

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