By Renzzo Castaneda /
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter a very public dispute between Apple Inc. and the U.S. FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) over the fact that Apple refused to create a software for the FBI to unlock the phone of the San Bernardino shooter, Syed Farook, the FBI has gone to a third party to crack the iPhone.
About a month ago a judge asked Apple to help the FBI, which would have required Apple to change the system that erases the information on the phone after 10 unsuccessful password attempts. Apple declined to help the FBI.
The reason being is that Apple CEO Tim Cook said that they would have to create a master key that could potentially be capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks on a person’s iPhone. Tim Cook also argued that if the FBI could access this iPhone, nothing would stop them from doing it to others even though the FBI said that this would be a one-time request only.
Most technology firms have defended the fact that Apple is refusing to unlock the phone for the FBI because it is a protection encryption to stops hackers, on top of the fact that after the Edward Snowden revelation about the government’s way of surveillance to “protect” United States citizens, people aren’t too eager to give the government more power than they already have.
But a hearing set for third week of March was postponed after the FBI said that they had found a third-party that was able to unlock the iPhone. Rumors and reports suggested that it was an Israeli firm named Cellebrite. This was never confirmed or denied by the company.
On March 28, the Department of Justice said it had managed to access the data on the iPhone in question and asked the judge to drop the case. The FBI said in a statement that they would not comment on how the iPhone was unlocked or who was involved.
Apple came out with a statement after the case was dropped saying that it “will continue to help law enforcement with their investigations, as we have done all along, and we will continue to increase the security of our products as the threats and attacks on our data. From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent. As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred.”
Even though the FBI got the result that they wanted which was getting access to Farook’s iPhone, it has raised some questions like if Apple’s security software is really that foolproof.
Apple will eventually want to know how the FBI got into the iPhone in order to fix any bugs or vulnerabilities in its software. The iPhone maker is likely to continue bolstering security in its software and devices.
Although the FBI was able to unlock the iPhone without Apple’s help, and Apple stuck to their guns until the very end. This isn’t going to end the dispute of freedom over security, this is just the first time it was publicized as being this big of issue. There are many battles ahead and it doesn’t look any easier.