Apple has refused to help grant FBI access into Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone, access to the iPhone’s data according to prosecutors will help them find out who the shooters were communicating with, who helped them carry out the massacre and also where they traveled before the incident.
Syed and his wife Tashfeen Malikwere were involved in the deadly terrorist attack that happened in San Bernardino California on December 2nd , as a result of which 14 people were killed and 22 seriously injured. After the shooting, the couple fled in a rented sport utility vehicle. Four hours later, police pursued their vehicle and killed them in a shootout. The FBI till date have not been able to access Farook’s phone.
A Federal judge ordered Apple to provide “reasonable technical assistance” to authorities in order to allow the FBI access Syed’s iPhone, this involves Apple producing a new version of the iPhone OS that circumvented key security features to install on Syed’s phone but Apple has refused to assist the authorities towards achieving this. According to Tim Cook’s letter “In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession”.
For many years, we have used encryption to protect our customers’ personal data because we believe it’s the only way to keep their information safe. We have even put that data out of our own reach, because we believe the contents of your iPhone are none of our business.
Even though authorities requested that Apple should build a backdoor which will enable the iPhone to be accessed, Tim Cook’s open letter explained the need for encryption and why they feel building a back door for their products isn’t ideal, they also explained why they wouldn’t want to create a version of iOS that doesn’t feature brute force protection.
iPhone’s by default are protected against brute force attacks, after the first 5 wrong pins, a one minute delay is observed, the next attempt adds 4 more minutes, 7 – 8 trials triggers 15 minute delay after that an hour. These delays makes breaking into an iPhone almost impossible, now it takes even longer if a user uses six digit password, and could eventually lead to all data been wiped automatically.
The FBI didn’t want to experience delays within wrong pin attempts that’s why they referred to Apple for help. Apple on the other hand fears releasing a master key to every iOS device could actually end up with the wrong person thereby, making it’s users less safe.
“The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe,” the letter continued, adding it could find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack.”
John David McAfee promises a way out
John David McAfee an American computer programmer and developer of the first commercial anti-virus program McAfee agreed with Apple that producing a backdoor may cause serious untold issues; “If the government succeeds in getting this back door, it will eventually get a back door into all encryption, and our world, as we know it, is over.” Said McAfee, “In spite of the FBI’s claim that it would protect the back door, we all know that’s impossible. There are bad apples everywhere, and there only needs to be in the US government.”
McAfee also promised to decrypt the Phone in 3 weeks, not because he supports the government in the creation of a backdoor but because he thinks if he can decrypt the device there wouldn’t be any need for Apple to create back-doors for law enforcement officials to access in the future, he also said that if he does not succeed in decrypting the iPhone, he will eat his shoe live on the Neil Cavuto show.
Well lets hope John McAfee decrypts the iPhone within 3 weeks, i wouldn’t want to see him eat his shoe…. well of course unless it tastes good.
What do you think? please let us know your thoughts in comments.
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.