Apple can and will bypass your password if necessary

“According to recent reports, Apple can hack into your iPhone that is password protected if absolutely necessary,” Christopher Singh reports for The Examiner.

“According to recent reports, Apple can hack into your iPhone that is password protected if absolutely necessary,” Singh reports. “The court documents revealed that Apple let the agent know they can have it done, but there is actually a waiting list for when they would be able to bypass the password. Apparently, the phone would actually not be hacked into, but Apple would extract all of the files to an external device such as a USB thumb drive.”

Read more in the full article here.

117 Comments

      1. Oh, wow, so sorry… Let me rephrase…

        Your point? Any company that has a password system can get into your stuff.

        Now, would you please grow up and respond to the issue?

        1. “Now, would you please grow up and respond to the issue?”

          He made his point, that’s for sure. He focused on your shortcomings and your response is to apologize?

          Don’t hold your breath waiting for him to respond. He’s an anonymous coward just like you, pleading for MDN commenters to grow up!

          Douche.

          1. And what is your name sir? Clicking on it reveals that you are a ‘registered’ word press users, but your boring, lame blog does not say who you are on the about page. Anonymous coward, douche..

            1. Google G4dualie, then Google Truth.

              At least I’m hiding in plain sight, you and your namesake is lost on this site and just about everywhere you go.

              Shove it up your ass, Truth.

            2. lame blog does not say who you are on the about page.

              Check again. It says exactly who I am. However, you’re looking for name aren’t you?

              You want my name because you’re one of those people who hate people like me.

              You read my bio. You KNOW who I am and yet you want to make trouble for me outside of MDN, why is that?

              You wouldn’t do something stupid like attack my website or steal my identity would you?

              Should I notify MDN to be prepared to cough up your IP address to my lawyer, as part of an ongoing investigation into your veiled threats?

              When are you going to learn, no one is anonymous! Every word you write can be traced right back to your mom’s basement.

    1. “Any company that has a password system can get into your sh!t.”

      Not true. If you say, “Fuck Apple, I’ll put my shit someplace else!”, they can’t get to your shit! You have to have a relationship with a company before they can violate your trust, right?

      Since 1979, I trust Apple to safeguard my intellectual property and until they prove otherwise, I trust Apple to keep Google, Amazon, Microsoft and the FBI away from my stuff… unless of course, I was breaking the law, then it will have been me who violated a trust, huh?

      tflint, the HeeShee bashed you for your crudeness. I say fuck skinflint and his Etiquette on the Net campaign and grab some beers and visit a few more comments, whaddaya say?

      1. What??? If you say eff Apple and use a different service, then that company has access to your stuff. So what’s the point there?

        I think there are a few issues being conflated here:

        1. If a company has a customer account system with password-protected access, as a rule they can get into your stuff. You’re delusional if you think otherwise.
        2. There are cases where they cannot. e.g. Crashplan (and most data storage companies, I assume) has an encryption security level whereby they state that if you lose your password, your data is gone. Not even the gov’t can get it back (maybe ;). Most of us, however, don’t have any encryption on our data at all; it’s simply access-protected by a simple password. They know our passwords. Our passwords are stored in THEIR DATABASES, for goodness sake!
        3. I believe that Apple is one of the (if not THE MOST) trustworthy companies in hi-tech/IT/telecomm, with respect to keeping our data private. That being said, if the FBI knocks with a federal warrant, all bets are off.

        So, again I ask, what’s the point here? If you put your data into a system/service provided by a company, generally that company has to be able to store and, therefore, retrieve your password, data, etc., unless you use high level encryption which probably 99.9999% of people don’t.

        1. What??? If you say eff Apple and use a different service, then that company has access to your stuff. So what’s the point there?

          Look tard, I’ll say this slowly, using small words so you can understand… if I leave Apple, then Apple no longer has access to my stuff, do they?

          So who do you trust Jensen?

          1. Obviously! Of course! But what’s the point? I thought this conversation was about whether Apple can get your data out of your Apple accounts and phones. Seems like a ridiculous article to me. Of course they can.

            1. “Obviously!”

              Was it? I thought I had to make that distinction for you, because you seem to be confused about your rights under the OS X licensing agreement you made with Apple.

              You believe Apple has every right to snoop in your files whether they’re in the cloud, or on your phone, and I can say without equivocation, that is an absolute falsehood. You know it’s true, and yet here you are, suggesting that Apple employees spend their days snooping through your personal stuff, is that the narrative you’re attempting to proffer here at MDN?

              I thought this conversation was about whether Apple can get your data out of your Apple accounts and phones.

              Assuming that’s a question, I think we all know the answer; Apple will comply with any and all search warrants.

              But, for you to suggest that Apple would conspire to undermine our civil rights, is just laughable. Am I making myself clear, Jensen?

              Roll over if you want Jensen, assume Apple is a government pawn, but I still believe in Due Process.

            2. Calm down and re-read my posts. I never said or implied any of what you’re saying. I said any company “can” which is completely true. It’s just a technological fact. I never said that they are sitting around “snooping.” I also said Apple is maybe the most trustworthy company in telecomm.

            3. YOU go back and read your comment to me, explaining in detail HOW I’m delusional and how you’ve got the database best-practices all figured out.

              I said, if I leave Apple, then Apple can’t snoop, didn’t I?

              But that wasn’t the point you were trying to make, was it? You wanted to say, “Any company that has a password system can get into your sh!t.”

              So why don’t you explain what you meant by THAT statement and save us all some time, because I think you’re full of shit.

            4. Seriously, dude, calm down before someone tracks YOUR IP and takes you away. Explain it? It’s simple. What were your words, again? Should I use single syllables so you can understand? If I own a company that offers any kind of data storage service with password protection, then I manage and own the servers which store not only the data but the account information and passwords. Therefore, I own the sandbox and the keys, I can get in if I want to and feel justified in my business and the agreement I made with my customers. Simple enough for you? And, again, your comment about leaving Apple is so thoroughly irrelevant, I won’t reply to it further.

            5. Dude, really, now about the voting? Thousands of people look at these posts. I don’t know who’s voting you down. Could be any intelligent person.

            6. And here, maybe this will help:
              can |kan|
              modalverb (3rd sing. present can ; past could |ko͝od|)
              1. be able to

              It doesn’t mean they are doing, just that they are “able to.”

              This has gone way past boring.
              Over and out.

            7. Therefore, I own the sandbox and the keys, I can get in if I want to and feel justified in my business and the agreement I made with my customers.

              See? Ignorance abounds! I KNEW you were full of shit.

              Sensitive data is encrypted with a KEY and neither Apple or the NSA can view my data without the encryption key.

              Your information is pedestrian at best, and dangerous otherwise! Those of us who have accounts on cloud services are all as stupid as you are when it comes to safeguarding their data.

              In your world, these companies can and do spy on you!

              You’re the one who is saying ANY company who maintains consumer passwords in their databases have access to our data and I think your full of it.

              You even go so far as to say, they feel justified in their agreement with their customers, and yet, I have yet to read any Apple literature stating they possess the capability to decrypt our data without a key.

              Still talking?

            8. “Seriously, dude, calm down before someone tracks YOUR IP and takes you away.”

              I don’t suffer veiled threats either. You drew first blood and now I intend to make you my bitch. Let me know when you’ve had enough, Jensen.

              Oh, join MDN, so that I can personally kick your ass.

            9. Of course they can.

              Nope. Not even close. Why do you insist on proffering specious arguments about companies and their security policies?

              Those who encrypt their iPhone backups and Mac backups to the cloud can sleep well knowing Apple can’t pry into their encrypted files.

              But ignorant people like you maintain that ANY company can sift through your files without your permission or passwords and you should just stop talking Jensen.

              Apple is a decent company who earned my trust thirty-years ago. When did you come to the platform and was Mac your first choice?

            10. “Apple is a decent company who earned my trust thirty-years ago. When did you come to the platform and was Mac your first choice?

              When did you get your first mac? Please answer the question.

        2. unless you use high level encryption which probably 99.9999% of people don’t.

          What do you know, your statistic makes me the smartest man in the room.

          I know lots of Mac users who use both File Vault and PGP software. We aren’t plagued by the problems you seem to be having, with the companies you do business with.

          You’ll come to appreciate Apple’s loyalty to its customers. They haven’t let me down yet.

          I hope you figure out how to be secure on your planet.

        3. Just a correction: They don’t need to know our passwords in order to access our stuff. In fact, any safe system will never store the password in plain text. That’s why, when you forget a password, no safe system will tell you what your password was, and will ask you to provide a new one instead.

            1. I was answering to Jensen’s comment where he said:

              “They know our passwords. Our passwords are stored in THEIR DATABASES, for goodness sake!”

      2. It is sad that you don’t realize that you are capable of being noble and elevating the conversation to an intellectual level. Please consider your fellow readers who have triple digit IQ’s and show them a little respect.

        1. Please consider your fellow readers who have triple digit IQ’s and show them a little respect.

          Who else but yourself would you be talking about?

          Everyone of you are strangers to one another, and yet you would have me believe you know someone here with a TD IQ? I submit you don’t, hence you’re referring to yourself.

          When you’re invited to join MENSA, look me up.

      3. This was my first comment on this day in this thread. I offered beers and get a big fuck you! for my trouble.

        After that, the whole conversation devolved into some kind of exercise of oneupmanship.

        Take note that all of my opponents are not members (Jensen) and 9 out of 10 don’t even know what started the argument and yet here you are getting in your kicks, and then hide behind your anonymity.

        When I leave this place, MDN will become just another Circle Jerk with each of its members sitting around jacking each other off.

        1. I knew you were full of shit.

          As long as I’ve known you, you’ve always went out of your way to be polite; no profanity; no arguing, you just comment with plain vanilla words.

          But today’s different; You stooped to my level.

          I own you too, bitch!

    1. reference for the above reaction:

      “One thing is for sure, Apple will make sure they go out of their way to assist law enforcement – you can decide whether that’s good or not.”

        1. Law enforcement I dont have a problem with as long as there is a search warrant by a local judge.

          Higher in government or more wider in scope than the above, then yes, I do have a problem.

          When the Higher in government or more wider in scope comes calling, you DO have a problem, we get that. But that isn’t what you’re implying are you?

          I suppose you want to tell us how you’re suspicious of those who aren’t your local police and judges? That if the FBI showed up without a warrant you’d tell them to pack sand, is that it?

          You have a problem cooperating with those who aren’t your kind. By the way, you never said HOW it’s a problem for you, or how you made the leap from your first statement, to the next?

          Anything higher and wider in scope is too much for your puny pea brain, isn’t it kentdk34 set, hut1, hut2, hike!

          What a maroon.

            1. Totally agree.

              The dude needs professional help.

              He claimed to ‘own’ a person (Jensen) by spewing misguided words and words alone?

              Maybe he/she owns a house in Cleveland on Seymour Strreet.

            2. Michael Valadez

              Truth can’t guess can it?

              G4Dualie is the online persona of Michael Valadez, a retired Master Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps.

              After leaving the Marines, I opened Graphic Results!™ and became a free-lance graphic artist and Macintosh consultant.

              Today, I only consult. I don’t have time to create art anymore, so I spend my days talking to audiences about why they need Macs now more than ever.

              In 1992, I decided to stop hiding behind anonymity and began using G4Dualie as my name on the internet.

              If you make trouble for me and my namesake Truth, I will follow you home. Am I making myself clear?

        1. Have you said one word relevant to the article? No.

          You’re only here for that fight. You don’t even have a side! You just jumped in and started swinging.

          One day you’ll find your OWN voice and then you’ll be the one on the defensive, like me. Just like that chick Liza who couldn’t resist jumping into the fray, she made a single comment that has nothing to do with the article and everything to do with the arguing between me and EVERYONE else.

          You should feel good that I even took the time to say anything at all to you.

          Oh and for the douche up top who commented on my Campus comments; Steve Jobs knew of my work and he didn’t make a face, so I’m blessed. Oh and by the way everyone, when Apple launches their first satellite, you will have me to thank for it. Also, my other work is a campaign to change the name of OS X from cat names to (predatory) bird names. If that’s successful, you’ll have me to thank for that too.

          Cheers! See ya’ around campus.

  1. All the more reason to purchase effective encryption software, provided that Apple will allow installation of the software. The other alternative is not to use your iPhone for illegal activities.

        1. What illegal activities are you referring?

          wow. are you that dense MacFreek?

          Why ask vanfruniken for a list of illegal activities when he made it quite clear he has no time for such activity, and now we all see where you’re trying to take the conversation.

          Not only did you ask him to produce a list of illegal activities, but now you’re making value judgements?

          Why do you care about the legalities and morality of select activities? Is your interest in these activities professional or does it make your dick hard to ponder such thing?

          MacFreek is a douche who has nothing to hide. That is until he gets his encryption software and if Apple doesn’t screw him over, he’ll be fat, dumb, and happy in his Underoos.

            1. Wow, G4Dualie.
              You’re making me side with MacFreek, who often says things that I think are ridiculous, but you’re off the deep end. You misunderstood Jensen, got into a long(-winded) battle with him over your dense misunderstanding. Then, when MDN commenters voted you down for being a jerk, you blamed him for that, too? Yikes. Talk about personality disorder.

              Also, you’ve ended at least two posts with “See ya’ around Apple campus.” I sure hope that’s posing, or a hint that you stalk the Apple campus as a fan. It’s scary to think that someone as illogical, self-centered, and hostile as you might possibly work there. Time to short the stock, if so – your attitude is poison.

    1. Encryption software? Really?

      What are you a fucking PC switcher? That’s it isn’t it, you just got your first Mac last year and here you are! making proclamations about Apple’s security policies!

      What if you encrypt your head and give me the key?

      1. Do multi-syllabic words confuse you? If you don’t protect your own files from prying eyes who will? If your data is worthless you can treat it as such, other people have files that do require restricted access.

        1. Stop talking!

          “If you don’t protect…” I’m gonna stop you right there.

          You don’t even know if the Mac supports encryption software or not, so why should we listen to you about protecting the Mac?

          You’re the one asking all the questions, aren’t you?

          OS X’s FileVault 2 uses full disk, XTS-AES 128 encryption to help keep the contents of your entire drive secure. Check it out.

          I don’t use it personally because, I don’t have anything to hide. It sure sounds like you do though, so I’d read up if I were you.

          1. I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of, but my iPhone does contain information that I want to secure and protect. No intelligent criminal purchases an iPhone for conducting business when there are more than enough disposable phones for that purpose.

          1. Well, you must think so to take time from your precious daily endeavors. What do you do that deserves such high praise and admiration? Do you save whales? Do you reduce your carbon footprint? Do you shelter the homeless or feed the poor or educate the illiterate? I am so honored that you deem me worthy of your time.

            1. Well, someone’s opinion of you does matter if the “ratings” are that important for you. Since my opinion of you is irrelevant you should have no concerns that I find you a sad, pathetic individual who craves favor from anonymous persons to salve your malignant insecurities and fragile self esteem.

  2. Helicopter lands on the front lawn of the Apple Corporate HQ. Jack Bauer burst through the front doors and says, “CTU! I NEED THIS IPHONE HACKED NOW!” Apple employes stand still, speechless. Bauer grabs a nearby employee and shoots him in the leg. Suddenly all the employees start yelling, “No Problem! We’ve all got that software, I can do it! Take just a second!”

    Gotta leave yourself a backdoor. Always.

      1. maroon [muh-roon]
        adjective
        1. dark brownish-red.
        2. Chiefly British .
        a. a loudly exploding firework consisting of a cardboard container filled with gunpowder.
        b. a similar firework used as a danger or warning signal, as by railway brakemen.

        maroon [muh-roon]
        verb (used with object)
        1. to put ashore and abandon on a desolate island or coast by way of punishment or the like, as was done by buccaneers.

        moron  
        mo·ron [mawr-on, mohr-]
        noun
        1. Informal. a person who is notably stupid or lacking in good judgment.
        2.Psychology . (no longer in technical use; considered offensive) a person of borderline intelligence in a former and discarded classification of mental retardation, having an intelligence quotient of 50 to 69. Example: G4Dualie

  3. so the headline is “iPhone can be hacked into.” but the article concludes by saying “the phone would not actually be hacked into…” so, which is it?

    1. so, which is it?

      It’s whatever you want it to be!

      Haven’t you been reading these comments?

      Everyone has a conspiracy, or whacky theory about Apple’s security policies. The laziest among us use television plots and rhetorical talking points to make something out of this story.

      Everyone here knows full well there has never been an incident in Apple’s thirty-plus-year history of violating its customers civil rights.

      Just because you have the power to do a thing, doesn’t mean you will, or are doing it now, but here you are wondering if they can or can’t.

      They aren’t, so what does it all mean, fucktards?

      1. You’re a douche for bringing his ethnicity, religion and eating habits into the mix. You’ve been registered for a month and already you’ve lowered the value of MDN.

        What’s wrong with you? You people (haters) should just dry up and blow away? You think you’re being clever, but to me and the rest of civilized society

  4. I note that the story doesn’t say that Apple can or will decrypt the contents of the phone, only that they can copy the contents off of the phone. Ordinarily, you can’t read anything back from the phone at all without the key.

    1. The contents of an iDevice are ALWAYS encrypted, and the decryption key is encrypted separately by the device’s passcode. This is why, to wipe an iPhone, all you need to do is erase that decryption key from the device, and at that point everything is gone.

      However, given that Apple can suck out all of the contents of the device, it’s a much simpler matter to decrypt the decryption key than to decrypt the entire contents of the device, since the key itself (a) is less encrypted, but (b) has a location on the device known only to Apple.

    2. I understood that much, but that’s counter to the headline and the lede. I appreciate the clarity of your comment. (-: I guess it wouldn’t be much of a story if the headline read “apple can copy the contents of your phone”. no sensationalism in that at all. I don’t understand how this journalist can state “hack into your phone”, but then at the very end say “well, not hack, but copy.” speaking of hack…. sheesh. (-;

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