FBI officials have allegedly managed to break into one of the two iPhones owned by Mohammed Saeed Aishamrani. In December last year, a mass shooting took place at Naval Air Station in Florida. The attack was carried out by Aishamrani and the FBI had found two iPhones protected with encryption.
It is not uncommon for government agencies to lock horns with Apple when it comes to security. Previously, the FBI has tried to persuade Apple to build a backdoor into its iPhones. Meanwhile, Apple has defended its position citing user privacy and security. However, in the Florida mass shooting case, the company had handed over iCloud data to the FBI. The shooter reportedly owned iPhone 7 and iPhone 5s.
Apple faced a similar situation way back in 2016 when the U.S Federal judge asked the company to unlock one of the phones belonging to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. Apple refused to build a backdoor and said that doing so will pose a national security risk. Meanwhile, the FBI somehow managed to gain access to the iPhone without needing Apple’s intervention. Earlier this year Apple released a statement that read as follows.
We have always maintained there is no such thing as a backdoor just for the good guys. Backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers. Today, law enforcement has access to more data than ever before in history, so Americans do not have to choose between weakening encryption and solving investigations. We feel strongly encryption is vital to protecting our country and our users’ data.
Apple is opposed to the idea of creating a backdoor into iOS. However, one can easily find many tools to hack the iPhone. In fact, Cellebrite’s phone-hacking tool was selling on e-bay for as low as $100. As if that was not enough, earlier this year, Scotland Police posted a video of using Cellebrite to crack smartphones. Furthermore, the abundance of iOS exploits only makes the matters worse.
No matter how hard Apple resists building a backdoor into iOS, authorities can always turn to third-party tools for accessing the phones.[via CNN]