The FBI withdrew its assault on iPhone encryption after it managed to hack its way into the San Bernardino iPhone. Soon after that, the agency notified other law enforcement officials across the country that it’ll try and help out unlock other iPhones from various criminal investigations.
The FBI is yet to tell Apple how it performed the hack, but the Bureau does talk about it with senators. In the meantime, the FBI confirmed that while it may be able to hack some iPhones, the iPhone 6s is impenetrable for the time being.
Apple’s fight with the FBI may be over for the time being, but this high-profile fight about user privacy and state security may have puzzled some smartphone users. When is an iPhone or Android device encrypted? And how does one go about securing the data on them?
Apple’s fight with the FBI over the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone isn’t over yet because now Apple has to figure out how the FBI actually hacked into the device without Apple’s help.
The FBI did not reveal to Apple how it bypassed the security protocols built into iOS, but the bureau told law enforcement agencies that it will help them in their investigations. Even if it doesn’t provide specifics about the iPhone hack at its disposal, the more iPhones the FBI unlocks for criminal cases, the more likely Apple will be able to figure out how it’s gaining access. More →
The FBI insists that encrypted products like the iPhone and encrypted online services will put people in harm’s way, especially in light of the ISIS-connected San Bernardino shooting late last year. That’s why the Bureau has been arguing for encryption backdoors that would be available to law enforcement agencies, and why it looked to coerce Apple to add a backdoor to iOS.
However, extensive reports that show the preparations ISIS made before hitting Paris and Brussels revealed the kind of encrypted products ISIS radicals used to stay in touch with central command. Unsurprisingly, these products are out of the FBI’s jurisdiction, and one in particular was one of the safest encrypted communication products you can find online. In fact,its original developers are suspected to have ties to the criminal underworld. More →
Much has been written about the massive fight between the FBI and Apple over encryption in the high-profile San Bernardino shooting case. Apple has won the battle for the time being, though the FBI has managed to break into the phone without Apple’s help. What’s more, the Bureau will soon help hack into other iOS devices that law enforcement agencies across the country want to unlock.
Can the FBI do the same thing with Android devices? More →
We were wondering whether the FBI will agree to use in other cases the same hack that unlocked the San Bernardino iPhone just earlier this week, and it turns out the agency is more than willing to share its newly acquired know-how to help other law enforcement agencies solve their on-going investigations. Just days after it confirmed it didn’t need Apple to access the local files of the iPhone 5c that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters, the FBI agreed to assist an Arkansas prosecutor unlock an iPhone and iPod that may contain relevant evidence to a double homicide case. More →
Apple beat the FBI this week, as it avoided a legal battle against the law enforcement agency over creating a backdoor into the San Bernardino iPhone. The war on encryption isn’t over yet, as both parties aren’t necessarily happy with this temporary solution. For the FBI, accessing the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters is crucial, but doesn’t solve its bigger problem: spying on encrypted communications or devices. Apple, on the other hand, is reportedly working on beefing up iPhone security. But for now, it has one other problem: the world knows there is a way to get peek at the data stored on an encrypted iPhone without knowing the PIN or password.
The FBI did not say whether it’ll share the vulnerability it discovered and successfully used on the San Bernardino iPhone 5c, with the help of an unnamed security company. But Apple might be able to use other legal cases that involve iPhones to force the Bureau to explain the hack. More →
Using the services of a security company familiar with the inner workings of iOS 9 and the iPhone, the FBI cracked Apple’s security features. The agency bypassed the San Bernardino iPhone’s encryption and was able to retrieve the data stored on the iPhone using a mysterious technique that rendered phone’s the PIN protection useless.
As much as it would obviously like to, Apple can’t force the FBI to disclose the security hole, which means others could use a similar hack to break into iPhones in the future until Apple discovers the vulnerability and patches it. More →
Apple won a first battle against the FBI over iPhone encryption this week, as the law enforcement agency decided to back off in the San Bernardino case. The war is far from being over, as Apple will almost certainly have to face off against the FBI in the future. And that’s just one of Apple’s problems. Let’s not forget that a third party did for the FBI what Apple wouldn’t. That means there’s a way to bypass iPhone encryption that sidesteps Apple, and the Cupertino crew has no idea what it is.
Meanwhile, Apple issued a response to the FBI that follows below, in full. More →
There’s an entire industry devoted to cracking the iPhone and other smartphones. These companies operate mostly in the dark, offering their services to clients when other methods of retrieving data from a gadget fail. Cellebrite is one of the companies with experience in cracking devices including the iPhone, and the security firm os believed to have inked a deal with the FBI to crack the San Bernardino iPhone 5c.
If true, it would be a bit ironic because Cellebrite also counts Apple among its customers. More →
The government is confident it can hack into the San Bernardino iPhone 5c without Apple’s help, at least according to statements made on Thursday. The FBI and DOJ have not detailed how the hackers who came forward with the proposal to help will do it, and it’s too early to know for sure whether the procedure will work.
The FBI has seemingly admitted defeat to Apple in its quest to force the company to build an insecure version of its OS to load onto the iPhone owned by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. And that might be a good thing. However, a public court battle between Apple and the FBI might have been a lot better, even if Apple risked being forced to unlock the iPhone.