Security firm shows how Apple could bypass iPhone security to comply with FBI request

“A security firm says that while Apple may fight hard to resist a California court order to help the FBI to break into an iPhone, it would be technically able to do so,” ben Lovejoy reports for 9to5Mac.

“Apple had so far seemed to be in possession of the ultimate trump card in this situation: since iOS 8, it has been able to simply shrug and say that iPhones are encrypted and Apple doesn’t have the key,” Lovejoy reports. “Even if a court ordered it to break into an iPhone, it would be unable to do so.”

Lovejoy reports, “But while this is correct, security company Trail of Bits has described in a blog post how Apple could still make it possible for the FBI to hack into the phone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

There have been people that suggest that we should have a back door. But the reality is if you put a back door in, that back door’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, December 2015

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

What the Apple court order means for your smartphone privacy – February 17, 2016
EFF opposes U.S. government demand to force Apple to unlock terrorist’s iPhone – February 17, 2016
‘Who do they think they are?’ Donald Trump blasts Apple for not unlocking San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone – February 17, 2016
Tim Cook posts open letter opposing U.S. government demands to bypass iPhone encryption – February 17, 2016
Apple CEO opposes court order to help FBI unlock San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone – February 17, 2016
Apple wants judge to rule if it can be forced to unlock defendant’s iPhone – February 16, 2016
U.S. House lawmakers seek to outlaw states from banning encrypted iPhones – February 10, 2016
Obama administration wants access to smartphones – December 15, 2015
Obama administration’s calls for backdoors into encrypted communications echo Clinton-era key escrow fiasco – December 14, 2015
Donald Trump: To stop ISIS recruiting, maybe we should be talking to Bill Gates about ‘closing that Internet up in some way’ – December 8, 2015
Hillary Clinton: We need to put Silicon Valley tech firms to ‘work at disrupting ISIS’ – December 7, 2015
Apple CEO Cook: ‘You can’t have a back door that’s only for the good guys’ – November 21, 2015
Apple CEO Cook defends encryption, opposes back door for government spies – October 20, 2015
Do not let the government snoops weaken encryption – November 4, 2015
U.S. NSA seeks to build quantum computer to crack most types of encryption – January 3, 2014
Judge compares government request for Apple to access users’ iPhone data to execution order – October 27, 2015
U.S. judge expresses doubts over forcing Apple to unlock iPhone – October 26, 2015
Apple tells U.S. judge it can’t unlock iPhones running iOS 8 or higher – October 20, 2015
a href=””>Apple CEO Cook defends encryption, opposes back door for government spies – October 20, 2015
With Apple court order, activist federal judge seeks to fuel debate about data encryption – October 12, 2015
Judge declines to order Apple to disable security on device seized by U.S. government – October 10, 2015
Apple refused to give iMessages to the U.S. government – September 8, 2015
Obama administration war against Apple just got uglier – July 31, 2015
Edward Snowden: Apple is a privacy pioneer – June 5, 2015
Apple, others urge Obama to reject any proposal for smartphone backdoors – May 19, 2015
U.S. appeals court rules NSA bulk collection of phone data illegal – May 7, 2015
In open letter to Obama, Apple, Google, others urge Patriot Act not be renewed – March 26, 2015
Apple’s iOS encryption has ‘petrified’ the U.S. administration, governments around the world – March 19, 2015


  1. Apple: Stick to your guns, to real security for your customers!

    The US government has already proven its insincerity regarding honoring the US Constitution. Handing them the tools to abuse We The People further is NOT going to happen, ever.

    1. I certainly hope you are right, but I’m not sure just who We The People will choose for president and the next congress. In the privacy department, I’m disappointed with most of the current crop on both sides of the aisle.

      1. The issue is, as usual, complicated. I can barely scratch the surface with some observations:

        1) The clown car we’re enduring right now is a result of the influence of the Neo-Conservatives upon the Republican party. Ronald Reagan, himself, called the Neo-Conservatives ‘The Crazies’. He was correct. That they were allowed to manipulate our US government via the George W. Bush administration has lead to deadly fruit and incredible government rot. The demolition of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution reached its peak specifically thanks to the Neo-Cons. The stupefaction of the presidential race is also their spawn.

        I can also point to stupefaction of the US populace as a very long reaching goal from both worthless political parties. Education is the #1 priority of any nation’s government. It is the single best form of defense of any nation, NOT militarization. But it’s difficult and expensive. Whereas, feeding the Military Industrial Complex is easy and provides instant feedback in taxes.

        I could blether on, but I’ll come to a summary that we get the government we deserve and that the corrupt influences upon our government, NOT from We The People, will land the entire system in its own sewage.

        I believe political outlooks tend to follow a sine wave. We’ve bottomed out with conservatism to the point where that movement is now run by the insane. Flipping the sine wave back over to the opposite is overdue and certainly is required. I expect we will begin to watch that happen, if the losers don’t manage to cheat themselves back into office again.

        And no, I’m not particularly pleased with Bernie Sanders. He IS however, a man of these times. I can easily see him being the US president and working to remove a lot of the sickness going on in the USA. Does he bring his own sickness? Maybe. We’ll see.

        1. Exclusively cherry picking out the boogyman “conservatives” and doing the same with “liberals” is all part of the same tribalist binary system of “conservative vs liberal”. Both sides are corrupt when it comes to people in power, and neither of them are really looking out for average Americans.

          In no way did this start with Ronald Reagan, or George W. Bush.

          1. No argument from me! But I point at specifically what’s going on now and recent references. I’m not going to lecture all of human history, which of course is applicable to exactly what’s going on now. Neither am I going to go into my 3-D thinking lecture, which is also immensely applicable to the 1-D thinking evident in the ‘conservative vs liberal’ topic.

            Meanwhile, oh yes, the Neo-Conservatives are responsible of vast, untold crimes against not just the USA, but all of humanity. I’d dearly love the equivalent of public Nuremberg trials for the entire G.W. Bush administration. Let’s start by delineating exactly what really happened on 9/11. It doesn’t take a conspiracy theory loon to see the blatant contradictions between the tale that was told and reality.

            (I will now conveniently step away from any subsequent flame wars in this thread). 😉

            1. Save your political crap for another site! That’s YOUR POLITICAL OPINION and I personally don’t care to read it here. MANY INTELLIGENT FOLKS TOTALLY disagree with your entire line of BS, and this is not the forum for this crap! And just like others of your ilk. You Make a statement and then disallow anyone else to voice their opinion, because as you said you aint listening to any other viewpoint. This is a site about Apple Computer, very many of us coexist here because we leave the political crap outside. Have a little respect for other people and dont start that crap here. GEESH!!! Is there no where to get away from you idiots!

  2. Easy – give the phone to Trail of Bits and let them do it if it’s that simple. If they can’t do it, there’s a ton of people on the internet who insist that it’s easy to hack into an iPhone.

    On the other hand, maybe it’s not as simple as some people would have you believe.

  3. Stop with the out-of-context use of the Franklin quote, MDN. Enough already. It’s been pointed out dozens of times that Franklin was talking about attempts by wealthy people in Pennsylvania to interfere with the colonial legislature’s right to tax them. It had nothing to do with privacy. You’re making your editorial staff look ignorant.

  4. I have been wondering for a long time if Apple is putting up an excellent front, and the government is going along with (on the surface), but is secretly helping with such situations on a case by case basis. I think that Tim understands the importance of national security and of possibly being able to save lives. Could Apple assist where it sees no other choice, but still show the world a solid wall of refusal? Just a thought.

  5. These guys might as well do the work themselves and make a mint.

    No one should expect Apple to do it even if technically its possible. The potential damage to customer trust and loyalty is huge.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.