Apple confident they’ll find and patch iPhone hack purchased by FBI

“The FBI’s method for breaking into a locked iPhone 5c is unlikely to stay secret for long, according to senior Apple Inc engineers and outside experts,” Joseph Menn reports for Reuters. “Once it is exposed, Apple should be able to plug the encryption hole, comforting iPhone users worried that losing physical possession of their devices will leave them vulnerable to hackers.”

“When Apple does fix the flaw, it is expected to announce it to customers and thereby extend the rare public battle over security holes, a debate that typically rages out of public view,” Menn reports. “‘Flaws of this nature have a pretty short life cycle,’ one senior Apple engineer said. ‘Most of these things do come to light.'”

“Although Apple is concerned about consumer perception, employees said the company had made no major recent changes in policy. Instead, its engineers take pride in the fact that a program for breaking into an iPhone via the web was recently purchased by a defense contractor for $1 million, and that even that program is likely to be short-lived,” Menn reports. “They said most iPhone users have more to fear from criminals than from countries, and few crooks can afford anything like what it costs to break into a fully up-to-date iPhone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iOS’ vaunted security will only get stronger thanks to U.S. government overreach.

[Attribution: BGR. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

13 Comments

  1. Yes it’s all fine and dandy but where is the fun? There is money to be made. Someone call up that Los Vegan gal, the one who takes bets on anything.

    -Apple’s flaw is revealed by a Snowden type character.
    – The government reveals the flaw, inadvertently but it’s OK, it will just reveal the one flaw just once.
    – The flaw requires high tech equipment and a staff of engineers to take advantage of so everyone is happy.
    – The flaw does not require the physical presence of an iPhone so basically FIB is able to look at every iPhone in the world. Oh wait, that’s what the NSA tries to do.
    -FIB returns demanding that Apple open just this one phone cause it has a newer operating system.

    The possibilities are endless.

  2. Umm, iOS hackers are confident they’ll find it too. It’s out in the open and it’s a matter of time before anyone can break into an iPhone.

  3. If the FBI can’t ‘hack’ into another phone, then the first one didn’t happen. They said they did, but now they will provide purported ‘assistance’ to local Law Enforcement to crack other phones, but not the kind of assistance which supposedly guarantees ‘results’. Why is this? Because they can’t.

    Despite claims to the contrary, this is a mindf*ck. It’s a rouse. A trick. A baseless accusation. A claim which has, so far, been completely unsubstantiated by a third party.

    Reuters & Associated Press are news clearing houses. One is based in London, the other in New York. Their writers can make any sort of claim they want and use the ‘authority’ of their agency to give a veneer of credibility to their story.

    If any supposed hack can’t be reproduce and verified, then the first one couldn’t have happened.

    Don’t listen to this crap.

  4. Israeli security firm earned x dollars unlocking this for the FBI. They can do this multiple times (y) not only for the FBI, but for others.

    Apple just needs to offer them something greater than the estimated product of x times y for the method. Apple has the cash. Hole gets closed. Israeli security firm makes their money. Consumers get privacy. Everyone wins except the cops. Until the next round…

  5. This hack represents the end of iOS as a secure plattform, once again.

    Apple Pay becomes a joke.

    Wall Street makes money on news like that.
    The brand is bleeding out.

  6. Really, you would rather protect killers, murderers by allowing them to have a useful tool to grow in size and power and kill more in ocent people then to have those trying to protect sane people from being shot and blown up. Go ahead look at my phone, i have nothing to hide and wont cross the legal line to ever worry about law enforecment wanting to bother with me.. Its time people wake up and realise these but jobs want to kill everyone that doesnt believe exactly as tbay do. What side are you fools on?

    1. Security does not just protect killers and murderers. It protects all of us.

      It is not surprising that you have nothing to hide on your phone, but some of us use our devices for more than just texting our classmates. We use them for banking, sensitive business transactions, and other adult activities that absolutely must remain private. For example, we regularly share our credit card information with them. I don’t have anything illegal on my phone, either, but why would that matter to a criminal who wants to hack my device in order to rob me?

      Some of us have professions that legally require us to use only secure means of communication. Secure means secure, not “kind of private.” On a larger scale, the entire world’s financial system depends on the reliable and secure transfer of private information.

      Unlike a lot of posters here, I mostly trust the U.S. Government, but I do not trust the Russian, Chinese, and North Korean governments, who will take advantage of any hole in iPhone security even more quickly than the FBI can. Nor do I trust criminals or terrorists who might use my phone in some way to harm me, my family, or my country. If there is a back door past a device’s security systems, the spooks and crooks will find it.

      Maybe you don’t care if law enforcement has access to the location data on your phone or your little girlfriend’s, but you should be concerned that pedophiles will soon have access to anything the government can reach. Maybe you aren’t the sort to make naughty selfies, but that doesn’t make you safe if somebody can turn on your device’s camera while you are changing clothes. Again, security isn’t just for bad guys.

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