Apple announced that they are going to fix the iPhone bypass that is used by the FBI and other government agencies in investigations. It has been known to exist for quite some time however the company was hesitant to remove it until now. The security community notes that this weakness could have been used by malicious users if they have the required equipment.
The iPhone Bypass Is Going To Be Removed By Apple
Apple is now taking steps into removing the ability of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies into accessing them. Ever since the security issue was publicly acknowledged the company was hesitant to remove it citing its use by the government for crime investigations. These changes are probably going to upset the law enforcement agencies as they won’t be able to use it anymore.
The iPhone bypass was made possible through the Lighting connectors that are used to transfer data and power to the devices. The agents were able to use special tools that allow them to access even fully-locked devices. The latest iOS operating system update will block electronic access to the port for an hour after the device has been locked.
The iPhone Bypass and FBI’s Involvement
Law enforcement and court investigators have not always been able to override the security measures on evidence devices. One of the most famous cases when this has become a serious obstacle in their work dates back to 2016 when the FBI took Apple to court due to a locked iPhone phone owned by the San Bernadino criminal that was involved in the shooting terrorist act. The company refused the agency’s demands and claimed that they would not risk the creation of a backdoor in the operating system.
To be able to overcome the system’s protective measures they resorted to third-party companies that offered a solution. One of the products that the agency purchased is a box-like device that is connected to the target devices and using complex calculations can bypass the security. However later on updates to iOS were able to modify the access time. In all cases the vulnerable spot that allowed the agencies to access them was already known.
The FBI has still not responded publicly about their position on changes. The security community anticipates that they may look for another possible weakness in the devices. The other option is to negotiate privately with Apple on providing a custom solution.