Apple iPhones are hailed for being secure devices, so much so that the company even denies the likes of FBI and other law officials to help get into the devices of major criminals. One such instance came in 2016 when the FBI had to pay a third party to get into the device of a mass killer.
Since that time, law enforcement agencies in the US have followed the same suit to get into locked iPhones for cracking criminal cases. That is not going to be the case anymore, as Apple has decided to close the technological security hole.
It is of no wonder that police and authorities are angered by this move of the tech giant. They are, in fact, debating over whether the government gets the right to get into personal devices, which have come to the heart of modern life.
Apple said it was amid planning for a software update for iPhones that will disable the charging and data port of the device an hour after it’s locked. While the phone will still be charged, transferring data to or from it will be possible only if you know the password.
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This definitely goes against the strategy of the law enforcement officials, who have been engaged in opening locked iPhones via connecting another device to the port and running a special software. Apple’s plan for this update has been circulating among security blogs and law enforcement circles, enraging the agencies.
According to this task force, they unlocked 96 iPhones for numerous cases within 2018 so far, each time with a warrant. They used a $15,000 device that was bought in March from a company named Grayshift.
If we go back to the situation where we again don’t have access, now we know directly all the evidence we’ve lost and all the kids we can’t put into a position of safety. – Chuck Cohen
He is the chief of an Indiana State Police task force on internet crimes against children.
However, privacy advocates support Apple intending to fix the flaw that has now become easier to exploit. Matthew D. Green, a cryptography professor at Johns Hopkins University noted that a Grayshift device in a police station may find its way out into the world.
Fred Sainz, an Apple spokesperson wrote in an email: “We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don’t design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs.” He added that they are strengthening security measures of the devices as criminals can too use the same strategy as the law-keepers.