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Apple plans to make iPhone and iCloud more secure to keep the government away

According to reports, Apple is already looking to make it more difficult to hack iPhones. The reports are related to the current battle between Apple and the FBI, when the FBI found an iPhone that belonged to one of the suspects in the San Bernadino shooting, they asked Apple to create a ‘backdoor’ to the device to access data stored on it, Apple’s Tim Cook wrote a public letter refusing the request.


Apple has already helped the FBI as much as they could, saying “We have done everything that’s both within our power and within the law to help with this case”. Apple also proactively offered advice on obtaining additional information from the device. One of their strongest suggestions was to pair the iPhone with a previously joined network, this would allow the FBI to backup the devices data to iCloud and then Apple could get the FBI the information they are currently asking for.

The New York Times reports that Apple wants to prevent passcode-free recovery mode on future iPhones, i.e. DFU mode. Jailbreakers will be familiar with DFU mode as it allows them to bypass some of Apple’s features. Apple created DFU mode for troubleshooting purposes, say for example your iPhone (software) is ‘completely broken’, the only way to get it working again is to boot into DFU mode and install a fresh version of iOS, completely bypassing the need for a passcode.

The Financial Times says that Apple also wants to encrypt iPhone backups on iCloud. Apple already actually encrypts the data on their servers but they own the decryption keys, the FT says that Apple is considering on giving its customers the key to decrypt their backups, so if the FBI requests iCloud data Apple can’t do anything without the decryption key (which their customers could soon have).

In any case, if Apple does succeed in making their devices more secure – which they likely will – the company won’t be able to access data on someone’s iPhone even if they wanted to.

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About Chris Wilson

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