Apple Still Won’t Help the FBI Break Into iPhones. Good.

That’s the title of an Opinion Piece published in Bloomberg News.

There are two important lessons in this week’s announcement that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has finally succeeded in cracking two mobile phones belonging to Mohammed Alshamrani, the aviation student who killed three people last December at a naval base in Pensacola, Florida.

The first lesson is that cracking an encrypted device takes time and effort even when the federal government brings all its resources to bear. The second is that Apple still refuses to build tools to make hacking its mobile devices easier.

Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’m happy about both.

RTFA. Stephen Carter makes a decent – albeit flawed – case for the first lesson. I’ll stick with his support for the second on principle.

The flaw? He thinks the cost of resources required to hack into anyone’s phone is prohibitive and, therefore, self-limiting. We have government agencies that gleefully waste billion$ on anachronistic military devices, pet projects for totally anal politicians, self-congratulatory research on regulations premised upon moving this nation in just about any direction but forward. Don’t count on wasting money as a problem.

One thought on “Apple Still Won’t Help the FBI Break Into iPhones. Good.

  1. Update says:

    When the U.S. government wanted to break into a dead terrorist’s iPhone several years ago, they turned to a little-known cybersecurity startup in Australia to help them do it, a Washington Post investigation has revealed. Azimuth Security, located in Sydney, specializes in providing “best-of-breed technical services” to clients, according to its website. https://gizmodo.com/mystery-of-who-cracked-the-san-bernardino-shooters-ipho-1846683814
    Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/04/14/azimuth-san-bernardino-apple-iphone-fbi/
    The news provides clarity to one of the most closely watched episodes in the so-called Going Dark debate, where the U.S. government has tried to find legal and technical mechanisms to circumvent the encryption offered on popular consumer devices, including those made by Apple. In 2017 a dramatic legal tussle between the Department of Justice and Apple came to a sudden and mysterious end. As the Department of Justice tried to force Apple to unlock the encrypted iPhone of one of the dead San Bernardino terrorists, a group approached the FBI and provided a technical solution. https://www.vice.com/en/article/xgzbmk/azimuth-security-san-bernardino-iphone

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