FBI may be required to hand over Apple iPhone hacking secrets

“The FBI has come up with a strategy to get out of its messy court case with Apple over accessing a dead terrorist’s iPhone: bring in the hackers,” Chris Strohm, Jordan Robertson, and Michael Riley report for Bloomberg. “Yet any new method the bureau uses to hack into iPhones may be short-lived — it may be obligated to give Apple the details so the company can fix the security gap.”

“The FBI’s new tactic may be subject to a relatively new and little-known rule that would require the government to tell Apple about any vulnerability potentially affecting millions of iPhones unless it can show a group of administration officials that there’s a substantial national security need to keep the flaw secret,” Strohm, Robertson, and Riley report. “This process, known as an equities review, was created by the Obama administration to determine if new security flaws should be kept secret or disclosed, and gives the government a specific time frame for alerting companies to the flaws.”

Strohm, Robertson, and Riley report, “‘I do think it should be subjected to an equities review,’ said Chris Inglis, former National Security Agency deputy director. ‘The government cannot choose sides in the tension between individual and collective security so the equities process should be run to put both on a level playing field.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Smirk. The Keystone Cops are alive and well.

What it means for Apple if feds have found a way to crack shooter’s iPhone – March 23, 2016
Ex-Apple CEO Sculley: FBI relying on hackers is fair – March 22, 2016


  1. I always said it was a mistake for the FBI to go after Apple in such a public way.

    As far as the FBI’s attempt to smear Apples reputation, Karma is a bitch!

  2. I hope Apple goes all the way in that direction and come up with an stronger encryption method that, like mention, nobody even Apple can access.

    Case solve, move on.

  3. FBI declares it’s method is classified, Apple is denied how the Feds hacked the iPhone. Ball in your court, Apple. What you gonna do? Sue the Feds for iOS susceptibility of the software you designed? That’s hilarious.

  4. If the BBC was accurate in reporting that a Israeli company has signed a contract to crack the iPhone, and actually demonstrated that it can, then Apple should simply buy that company if the fbi gets the information. Better yet the Israeli company can’t get into the iPhone.

  5. Apple doesn’t need to know the details because it’s not a critical security weakness in the product that can be exploited by fraudsters. The procedure requires the physical possession of the iPhone and almost certainly requires hardware modifications to it. It’s not going to be used in anything but the most significant cases.

    If the process uses NAND removal and copying, it probably won’t work with newer iPhones anyway, so Apple already has addressed that issue.

    It’s best to let the FBI keep this option and let criminals believe that they can decrypt any iPhone, even if the truth is that it only applies to earlier models.

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