Tim Cook: brute force tool required by FBI is the ‘software equivalent of cancer’

Tim Cook ABC News

In an interview with ABC News, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook spoke in detail about the company’s decision to oppose the court order in unlocking the iPhone 5c of Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the San Bernardino attack that occurred in December last year.

During the interview, Cook said that the brute force tool required by FBI is “the software equivalent of caner” that can potentially put millions of iPhones and other iOS devices out there at risk.

Cook once again reiterated that complying with the FBI’s request this time around could set a precedent that could ultimately lead to the encryption and other security measures on smartphones and other devices being weakened. He also made it clear that Apple has already given all the data it had about Farook’s iPhone to the FBI and that Apple does not have any other data regarding the iPhone.

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The CEO also said that Apple opposing the government does not right feel right and that it’s not a very comfortable position to be in.

Cook further says that smartphones carry very intimate and key data about their owners, including banking passwords and even the location of their kids, and no one would want this data to be leaked. He also says that this is a “slippery slope” and that even if Apple does unlock Farook’s iPhone 5c in a perfect world, other government agencies will then also start pressuring Apple to unlock other iPhones that they have in their possession.

Surprisingly, Cook revealed in the interview that he came to know about the filing from the public, which is not how such a sensitive matter should be handled.

Cook also said that Apple gave “significant advice” to FBI on how to retrieve data from the iPhone, including connecting the phone to a known Wi-Fi network which could have led the FBI to retrieve data from the phone.

[Via MacRumors]