What’s the big fuss over the FBI v Apple case? Well, December 2015 Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people before dying in a shootout with police after a prolonged car chase. Police found later that the electronics these two suspected terrorists owned had their hard drives removed and smashed. However, despite being smashed, Farook’s work phone an iPhone 5C is still able to function properly.
The iPhone is locked; the only way to get the passcode is to hack into the iPhone’s Operating system. The FBI has requested that Apple make them a back door, which is just a workaround for accessing the phone without its password, but they simply can’t. In order to bypass the passcode Apple would have to create an entirely new operating system in order to do so, because ever since the iOS 8 came out in September of 2014 Apple’s backdoor breaching tools don’t even work against their own technology. So their answer to the FBI and court case is, “can’t sorry”. Creation of this system is a double edged sword, it gives us insight into a a terrorist case, but also becomes a national security problem once the OS reaches beta state.
“Cracking the phone would require developing a special version of iOS that bypasses the passcode encryption,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said. “If such a genetically modified mobile OS escaped into the wild it could be used by anyone to crack any current iPhone with a simple touch.”
And despite a court order dumbed down to “JUST DO IT!” Apple still isn’t complying with the authorities in charge. Now, who’s to say this isn’t just some huge political row being had to be dramatic and make Apple look like the bad guy?
Owners of the iPhone can easily “jail break” the device, which is a near illegal way to add modifications and tailor the iPhone to anyone’s needs. Even criminals. This process is incredibly easy and has only gotten easier. The question then is, if it is this easy for a consumer to “hack” their phone who’s to say the FBI/CIA/NSA haven’t already done so? Are you telling me that Steve Gibson, a former software engineer who helped design the backbone of Apple products, couldn’t hack in? What about John McAfee, the owner and creator of McAfee security?
He says he can do it with no problem, in about a month. He has even gone as far to say “-The FBI is just cheap and unwilling to drop big bucks on the right bad guys to make it happen.” It sounds like McAfee has hacked into an iPhone before then, doesn’t it?
What makes it even more strange is that while they may not be able to access the phone directly, plugging it into a Mac or a PC and hacking its backup would be way easier, cheaper, and yield the same results. Maybe they already have done that and are just looking for a future way to prevent suspected terrorist communications later on.
Regardless of Apples intentions to uphold its security standards the FBI is trying to protect a country, but the way of doing it may not be the best.
In conclusion let us think for a minute.
Suppose that Apple designed this “FBiOS” in order to possibly find information on terrorist communication, this opens up a window for someone else to steal this OS and use it on anyone, and anything running on an Apple Operating System, including Apple Banking. They way I see it, with the recent reveal of the planned Apple Car, the world is moving towards an Apple dominated society. Future projects may include security cameras, vending machines, stop lights, etc. Most electronics run on Java or a form of Java, and every high school kid and there dog knows how to write basic script for it. What’s to stop a more secure system leading the way to the future and the public into a fall sense of security? The mere existence of an OS this powerful spells the end for privacy in every day life whether it be at home, or in public.