Ex-Apple CEO Sculley: FBI relying on hackers is fair

“Technology and social media companies recently joined Apple Inc. to fight the battle of will with the FBI, but now the law enforcement agency may give up the fight, as an alternative method to unlocking the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone proves promising,” Denise Garcia reports for CNBC.

“While Apple fought the idea of creating a back door in efforts not to compromise privacy and data security, it didn’t argue against a workaround from the FBI, as that would be beyond the company’s control, former Apple CEO John Sculley told CNBC,” Garcia reports. “‘There’s good reason why any CEO would want to make sure that they’re not cutting a sweet deal with the government behind everybody’s back,’ he said Tuesday, adding that if the FBI turned to a hacker it’s ‘fair.'”

“‘Tim Cook has done an exemplary job of leadership,’ he said,” Garcia reports. “If the FBI succeeds in accessing the information on the iPhone in question, this is not ‘a black eye for Apple,’ as the tech giant is responsibly securing data, he said in an interview with ‘Closing Bell.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hackers identify flaws which Apple, when made aware, can fix, making their operating systems even more secure. The FBI trying to hack the iPhone is fair game, but setting a Big Brother precedent by forcing a company’s engineers to break their products is not.


  1. There’s a locksmith video on YouTube, that shows how to open hotel safes. In another a rather large personal safe, with a magnet. The point of the video is not to educate the criminal, but educate the consumer, as to where you should or shouldn’t feel “safe.”

    We take for granted that we can protect our ID and financial information from would be thieves, behind a secret formula of math and compression. However you can only do so much.

    Let’s hope this settles down for a while. I think at some point we will need our own private blackholes to keep our stuff in.

  2. By going after Apple in such a public way, the FBI gave terrorist a front row seat in a lesson of how to keep your phones secret. If the FBI just kept quiet, most terrorist would not have given their phones a second thought.

  3. CNBS rolls out Scully to comment of Apple about once a month. Maybe they can’t find Gil Amelio. Maybe they should bring on Dennis Kosloski to comment about Tyco ot Carly F to talk about Hewlett Packard. What makes a failed CEO a credible expert on a company totally different than when he/she left it. CNBS is simply a shill for varied interests like giving Citron a platform to trash companies.

  4. Few people here have much love for Sculley, but that doesn’t mean that everything he says is automatically wrong.

    He is making a point that I have made several times on this site. There are third party companies that offer forensic IOS examination services combined with specialised hardware expertise. The most likely option is that they will de-solder the NAND memory chip so that they can make thousands of copies and perform a brute force attempt to try every combination until they unlock the iPhone.

    This is actually a good option and it is certainly one that suits Apple. The most important aspect is that Apple is not involved and IOS is not weakened. The FBI get to see what was in that iPhone ( almost certainly nothing of value ), but to do so takes time, costs a great deal of money and requires the physical possession of the iPhone and then damaging it. The upshot is that it’s not a procedure that they will be able to use except on the most important cases.

    What they really wanted was a program that could be loaded into a laptop and used to unlock any iPhone quickly. That would have been a very dangerous step and it’s good that Apple managed to resist going down that route.

    However, while the battle is over, the war continues. This technique of removing the NAND is unlikely to work with Apple chips that utilise the secure enclave. There will come a time when the FBI find a case with a massive emotional element which can be exploited to again try and set a precedent for newer iPhones. There is also the prospect that governments will pass legislation banning uncrackable encryption. Big brother has been pushed away for the moment, but like Arnie said in the terminator “I’ll be back”.

  5. I agree with Scully and MDN. As long as the government got a warrant to access the iPhone’s contents, it’s free to use whatever means it wants to do so. The problem was when they wanted to force Apple to weaken their product to accomplished this search. That would have opened their technology to the world to exploit and would have destroyed their brand for protecting their customer’s data, and that wouldn’t have hurt future bad guys at all, while placing all their good customers at risk.

  6. “As long as the government got a warrant to access the iPhone’s contents, it’s free to use whatever means it wants to do so.”

    They’re dead and they’re murderers. The FBI doesn’t need a stinking warrant to do whatever they want to do to that phone. They do need something rather better than a warrant to force Apple to do anything, yes. That said, I still maintain the FBI is totally lying (as they are very, very, used to doing) about this- they’re clueless and impotent, they knew they’d lose this court case, so they make up another cover story. Just like they do for all the people they’ve assassinated in the past. Over 150 now, all internally investigated, and all excused. The FBI is a very sorry lot of taxpayer funded gangsters.

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