UPDATED: Californian judge rules Apple must help the FBI break into an iPhone


A federal judge today ordered Apple to assist law enforcement with breaking into the iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters…

That assistance doesn’t involve stripping encryption, but does include help in discovering the iPhone’s passcode. It would also include assistance in finding relevant data on who the attackers were communicating with, potentially via iMessage, and who may have also helped plan the shooting, according to NBC News.

They’ve essentially told Apple they need to create a new version of the iPhone’s firmware that will allow an unlimited number of attempts to enter a passcode.

Instead of the phone wiping its data after a number of incorrect attempts the FBI will gain access to its encrypted contents after a potentially lengthy brute-force attack (trying every passcode combination until it opens).

The ruling sets a new precedent in privacy law essentially allowing  law enforcement agencies to circumvent the unbreakable encryption methods in use today.

UPDATE – 18/02/2016:

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has since posted a long note to customers on Apple’s website alerting the world of their intentions to fight the court mandated order and calls for a wider discussion of the topic.

We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.

This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake.

Source: Judge says Apple must help the FBI break into San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone | The Verge

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