The FBI and Apple have been locked in a stalemate involving the phone of the suspected terrorist involved in the shooting of more than a dozen people in San Bernardino last year.
Following a court order that Apple should help the FBI access the contents of the iPhone 5C recovered from the suspect, a lot of hype and misinformation has been doing rounds regarding the same. Starting with the company’s CEO Tim Cook to other major names in the tech industry such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, many believe that giving in to whatever the law enforcers are demanding will be putting the privacy of all American citizens at risk.
Sticking with the same matter, here are three things we have learned about Apple based on the incidents unfolding from the San Bernardino terror attack.
What the law enforcers want is for iPhone maker to come in and write a patch that will help them bypass the device-wiping function of the iPhone. As it seems, Apple builds these devices with a feature that automatically initiates data wiping whenever a passcode is entered wrongly for at least 10 times.
This is a feature meant to keep your iPhone secure in the event of losing it. In essence, the FBI wants Apple to help them try as many passcode combinations as possible to access the phone’s contents without erasing anything.
Apple software must be digitally signed
You may be asking: why doesn’t the FBI work on the patch? Well, it turns out that for the created software to work on any iPhone; it must be digitally signed and installed by Apple. If this doesn’t happen, it won’t be possible to update the phone. In short, Apple must provide its digital signature in order to unlock this iPhone.
Creating an iPhone backdoor is dangerous
According to Tim Cook, creating a backdoor to the iPhone being held by the FBI is a dangerous undertaking. This is true only if the patch reaches the wrong hands. Unless Cupertino can’t trust itself or maybe the experts in charge of creating the patch, there is no way this software could find its way to the public. In short, this software must never leave Apple’s chest.
The FBI might be insisting on recruiting Apple’s help as far as this case is concerned, but it will in no way have any effect on the current encryption Apple uses on its iPhones. If anything, the law enforcers argue that they only need a patch for a single iPhone and nothing more. On the other hand, Apple seems to be positioning itself as the king of privacy with its rigidness towards this request.