Apple said to be prepping iOS version that even it can’t hack

“Apple engineers have begun developing new security measures that would make it impossible for the government to break into a locked iPhone using methods similar to those now at the center of a court fight in California, according to people close to the company and security experts,” Matt Apuzzo and Katie Benner report for The New York Times. “If Apple succeeds in upgrading its security — and experts say it almost surely will — the company will create a significant technical challenge for law enforcement agencies, even if the Obama administration wins its fight over access to data stored on an iPhone used by one of the killers in last year’s San Bernardino, Calif., rampage.”

“If the Federal Bureau of Investigation wanted to get into a phone in the future, it would need a new way to do so,” Apuzzo and Benner report. “That would most likely prompt a new cycle of court fights and, yet again, more technical fixes by Apple.”

“The only way out of this scenario, experts say, is for Congress to get involved,” Apuzzo and Benner report. “‘We are in for an arms race unless and until Congress decides to clarify who has what obligations in situations like this,’ said Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Let congress decide, not the courts.

To set a stronger alphanumeric passcode on your iOS device that cannot be easily brute-forced:

1. Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. On devices without Touch ID, go to Settings > Passcode
2. Tap Change Passcode
3. Tap Passcode Options to switch to a custom alphanumeric code
4. Enter your new, stronger passcode again to confirm it and activate it

SEE ALSO:
Apple CEO Tim Cook says iPhone-cracking software the ‘equivalent of cancer’ – February 24, 2016
Apple vs. FBI iPhone battle shows users remain the weakest link in security – February 24, 2016
Apple’s fight with U.S. could speed development of devices impervious to government intrusion – February 24, 2016
Apple to argue that FBI court order violates its free-speech rights – February 24, 2016
Apple, the U.S. government, and security – February 24, 2016
Congressman Ted Lieu asks FBI to drop demand that Apple hack iPhones – February 23, 2016
In the fight to hack iPhones, the U.S. government has more to lose than Apple – February 23, 2016
Here are the 12 other cases where the U.S. government has demanded Apple help it hack into iPhones – February 23, 2016
John McAfee blasts FBI for ‘illiterate’ order to create Apple iPhone backdoor – February 23, 2016
Some family members of San Bernardino victims back U.S. government – February 23, 2016
Apple supporters to rally worldwide today against U.S. government demand to unlock iPhone – February 23, 2016
U.S. government seeks to force Apple to extract data from a dozen more iPhones – February 23, 2016
Apple CEO Cook: They’d have to cart us out in a box before we’d create a backdoor – February 22, 2016
Tim Cook’s memo to Apple employees: ‘This case is about more than a single phone’ – February 22, 2016
Obama administration: We’re only demanding Apple hack just one iPhone – February 17, 2016

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “TJ” for the heads up.]

36 Comments

      1. I’m not in anyway convinced Apple is doing what it’s doing as a means to protect “it’s customers from abuse of the Bill of Rights”.

        To convince me, Apple would have to do the same in China and Russia.

        How long do you think it would take for the Chinese government to ban Apple products from being sold in China?

        Make no mistake, for Apple to sell their products in countries like China or Russia (and many more), Apple will have to provide “back doors” or other means of accessing the information contained on their devices.

        Apple always claims that China is their biggest market and if so Apple has a lot to lose by refusing to co-operate with the U.S. government in the San Bernardino case.

        If Apple wins, the Chinese government might think it would be a bad idea to allow Apple sell their products in their country.

        Apple obviously knows that so it will be interesting to see how things unfold.

        1. You are welcome to your opinion. But it is flawed. Apple cannot address every problem in the world at one time. But it can draw the line in critical areas at key opportunities,just as it is doing now.

          I don’t see Samsung or Google/Alphabet or any other company doing anything material about this issue except Apple. Some companies are offering support to Apple, but that is only a token effort.

          We will see what happens in China and elsewhere. I would rather wait and see how things evolve than depend on your pessimistic and biased viewpoint, “Hilarious.”

          If Apple does create a locked-down iPhone and China does ban it for (public) sale, you can bet one thing. Every government official and wealthy businessman in China will be using one.

          1. I’m nor pessimistic not biased … I’m only offering a critical viewpoint, no more no less.

            One can say that I’m exercising my right to “free speech” but you don’t seem to like it which is fine with me!

            Have a great day.

        2. China and Russia are precisely why Apple CANNOT create a special OS for the U.S.
          Up until now, all Apple has to say is the software doesn’t exist. If they give it to the U.S. government, China and Russia will simply say “hand it over”

          1. Also, Apple cannot come out as use this as their argument without insulting China and Russia, but Apple is very much aware of the consequences should they be forced to give the FBI what they want.

  1. Extremist be very careful this could be your albatross .

    If we allow terror and fear to strip away our freedom, civil rights and privacy, there will be no way to reclaim them without repeating all past lessons and years of bloodshed.

    Funny thing is, all the extremists will be the first victims of a police state…serve you right, serve is all right for passively and stupidly giving up our freedoms.

    1. Update, Now MSNBC says NYT reporting Apple working on software to make it impossible to hack an iPhone by the govt. Somebody at MSNBC can’t spell I guess. But I recorded it showing what they initially said.

  2. You just know that the feds are looking into every employee they think is working on iOS security, hoping to find several on the same team with skeletons in their closet that they can blackmail into inserting backdoor code for them.

    Code and component design reviews just got more critical.

  3. “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
    Attributed to Sinclair Lewis

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
    Joseph Goebbels

    What the FBI and others- including the NYPD- are doing is purely political and has exactly NOTHING to do with your safety or our collective security as Americans. They are exploiting the fears and Patriotism of ordinary citizens to manipulate them to consent to destroy one of the few methods common people have to protect their digital privacy from an ever more entitled government that does not think the rabble is entitled to much more than a tax bill.

    Conmen and Politicians – sometimes they are both – exploit faith, patriotism, fear of the other to manipulate public opinion for things that have nothing to do with faith, country or our neighbors. This is a common method of propaganda and it is despicable that the FBI Director, the Manhattan DA and others have been exploiting the tragedy in San Bernadino for their political aims.

    Ed Snowden used the Chain of Command available to him and was rebuffed all the way to the Congress of the United States. He fled the United States to Hong Kong due to extradition treaties and was in transit in Moscow when the Obama & Clinton State Department suspended his Passport- he did not flee to Russia- but that was the disinformation reported by our government and a servile media. He fled because he knew our government would never grant him a fair and open trial of his peers- they would use the state secrets claim to keep his kangaroo trial out of sight and out of mind. A patriotic act of conscience was presented as an act of treason by the National Security State.

    Stand with Tim Cook and Apple. They are the White Hats on this issue and they have pissed off the powers that be, the people who profit from a digital dragnet on citizens and the law enforcement cabal that does not wish to be troubled with your civil liberties or probable cause. Any politician who backs this heavy handed attempt to leave your iPhone and iPad open to 24/7/365 surveillance is not your friend and is unworthy of your support.

    “WAR IS PEACE

    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”
    -Big Brother in 1984-

    1. Wow, how times have changed. You got a full five stars from everyone (at the time of this comment I am writing). Only about three or four years ago I used to quote 1984. Back then everyone was calling me “tin hat” etc.

      It’s like Nelson Mendela said, “one day they are calling me a terrorist, the next day I am having tea with the queen”.

      1. Judges are not members of the Executive Branch and both the Executive and Legislative Branches participate in the selection and appointment of members of the Judicial Branch. You need a civics refreshers course.

      1. The Legislative Branch is the one that creates laws and has the power to modify existing ones via amendments and newer laws. Those ‘bills’ have to pass through both House and Senate AND the President in the process of becoming a new law or modifying an existing one. The Judicial Branch is responsible for interpreting and enforcing existing laws.

        1. Sorry, tt was unclear whether you understood who had the power to create laws by your statement. Considering that encryption that Apple is implementing is creating a system that is completely secure to the point where there is no way to allow access to the contents as allowed by the provisions of the Fourth Amendment given the proper processes, in effect circumventing that provision, it could be argued that such a system is unconstitutional as it negates half of the Amendment. Perhaps Tim Cook wants Congress to make it clear by creating a law that would allow for a balance to be struck similar to that of libel and slander laws defining limits to the First Amendment.

  4. When the FBI and the government threaten draconian powers to force Apple to do something that is against it’s stated principles ( and also unconstitutional ), the only way that Apple can protect itself in the future is to change things so that every known vector of attack is neutralised.

    They already are having to deal with iPhones that are so secure that the government can’t get into them without Apple’s co-operation. Future iPhones simply won’t be accessible by Apple at all. By their arrogance, the government and FBI are making things worse for themselves in the longer term.

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