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How Can the “Now Famous” iPhone 5c Be Hacked?


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For the iPhone 5c in question, you don’t need to hack the encryption key; you need to “make” the encryption key. It is generated from a combination of the user-created PIN or password and a unique key that Apple embeds in each iPhone 5c when it is manufactured. The FBI is asking Apple to create a new operating system with the ability to disable certain security protocols – specifically to defeat the limit on failed passcode attempts and to remove the delay caused by failed attempts. With this new weaker security protocol and forensic software written to try every possible PIN or password combination, the FBI hopes to regenerate the unique key required to open the phone.

It is important to note that this whole idea is only possible on iPhones older than the 5c running iOS 8 or earlier. iPhones with fingerprint scanners such as the 5s, 6 and 6s use a second processor called “secure enclave.” Even Apple can’t hack an iPhone that includes a secure enclave processor – not without creating a “backdoor.”

This is what Apple is worried about. You should be too. If the government served Apple with a lawful writ or subpoena to deliver the key to an iPhone 6s, it would not be able to comply. This case asks the question, should the government be allowed to compel any company that creates a digital security product to create a “backdoor” and make it available for any reason (lawful or other)?

The important thing about an iOS 9 “backdoor” in Apple’s case is that it could not be guessed or randomly generated; it would have to be an actual file – a metaphorical “skeleton key.” There’s a problem with skeleton keys, even digital ones: they can be copied. Importantly, they can be copied or stolen without the owner’s knowledge. The idea of creating a “skeleton key” defeats the purpose of encrypting it in the first place. If a key exists, it will be copied by both good and bad actors – that’s just a fact of digital life.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/apple-v-fbi-how-sound-smart-encryption-shelly-palmer

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