Apple/FBI Case Concluded

The Apple/FBI Case in relation to the San Berdino iPhone 5c that needs to be broken into, has officially concluded.

The FBI had enlisted the help from an Israeli mobile software developer as a 3rd party called “Cellebrite” of whom specialise in “mobile forensic solutions”, and they successfully managed to break into the iPhone 5c and get the data off the phone to help the FBI with the investigation.

This means that the court case no longer needs to go ahead, nor would Apple be requested to created a Government friendly version of iOS which is a win for consumers.

What is not good for Apple, is the fact that the phone was broken into, to get the data but Apple does not know how this was achieved.

We can assume that if Cellebrite broke into the phone to disable the “Erase iPhone after 10 Failed Attempts”, that it was then brute-forced to get past the lock screen.

Brute Force is where you physically try every possible combination to get into a device.

If the device had a 4 digit numeric passcode, then there are 10,000 possible combinations to try physically or by an electronic device that can go through all the numbers. If it was a 6 digit numeric passcode, it would take 1,000,000 attempts to solve it.

If the passcode however was an alphanumeric password (letters, numbers, symbols and capitalised letters), and was for example 8 characters long, it would take many years to get it. The longer and more complex the password is, the longer it would take to solve.

Apple has also come out with their response to the FBI by saying:

From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent. As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought.

We will continue to help law enforcement with their investigations, as we have done all along, and we will continue to increase the security of our products as the threats and attacks on our data become more frequent and more sophisticated.

Apple believes deeply that people in the United States and around the world deserve data protection, security, and privacy. Sacrificing one for the other only puts people and countries at greater risk.

This case raised issues which deserve a national conversation about our civil liberties, and our collective security and privacy. Apple remains committed to participating in that discussion.

Based off Apple response, it sounds like they are serious about security and that they will be stepping it up in iOS 10 and onwards.

In conclusion, the whole case in regards to Apple’s support is basically over and that the security will be improved in iOS for future iPhones and this leaves me to the question for the post:

“Did this Apple/FBI case conclusion make you want to increase the security on your phone, possibly by alphanumeric password?”

In my case, I do not do anything incredibly sensitive on my phone, but if I were I would be more inclined to go to an alphanumeric password and would be more inclined to do that if I had a better fingerprint sensor on my phone, such as the ones from the 2015 smartphone lineup.

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