Tim Cook’s refusal to create iPhone backdoor for FBI vindicated by ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack on Windows PCs

“The proliferation of the WannaCry ransomware last week unequivocally justifies Apple’s steadfast refusal to help the FBI break into an iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists,” Yoni Heisler writes for BGR.

“Apple abhorred the very idea from the get-go, with Tim Cook going so far as to say that the FBI wanted Apple to create something that it viewed as ‘the software equivalent of cancer,'” Heisler writes. “From Apple’s vantage point, creating software capable of circumventing important iOS security mechanisms was a monumental risk as there is no way to guarantee that the customized software wouldn’t eventually fall into the wrong hands.”

“So while Cook’s cancer analogy might have struck some as being extreme, the WannaCry ransomware saga last week proves that once a piece of malicious software is created, it’s impossible to keep it out of the hands of malicious actor,” Heisler writes. “the WannaCry ransomware — which infected more than 200,000 computers across 150 different countries in less than 24 hours — was based on an NSA exploit released by a hacking collective known as the Shadow Brokers… So while former FBI director James Comey promised Apple that they would be able to keep a customized version of iOS from falling into the wrong hands, there’s really no way for anyone to make such a promise with 100% certainty.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: No vindication necessary, but vindication nonetheless.

As we wrote back in March: “Again, encryption is either on or off. This is a binary issue. There is no in-between. You either have encryption or you do not.”

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

This is not about this phone. This is about the future. And so I do see it as a precedent that should not be done in this country or in any country. This is about civil liberties and is about people’s abilities to protect themselves. If we take encryption away… the only people that would be affected are the good people, not the bad people. Apple doesn’t own encryption. Encryption is readily available in every country in the world, as a matter of fact, the U.S. government sponsors and funs encryption in many cases. And so, if we limit it in some way, the people that we’ll hurt are the good people, not the bad people; they will find it anyway. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 2016

Oppose government overreach.

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

The Microsoft Tax: Rapidly replicating Windows PC worm spreads as experts try to limit damage; Macintosh unaffected – May 15, 2017
The Microsoft Tax: Leaked NSA malware hijacks Windows PCs worldwide; Macintosh unaffected – May 13, 2017
Bungling Microsoft singlehandedly proves that ‘backdoors’ are a stupid idea – August 10, 2016
U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu says strong encryption without backdoors is a ‘national security priority’ – April 29, 2016
iPhone backdoors would pose a threat, French privacy chief warns – April 8, 2016
The U.S. government’s fight with Apple could backfire big time – March 14, 2016
Obama pushes for iPhone back door; Congressman Issa blasts Obama’s ‘fundamental lack of understanding’ – March 12, 2016
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch backs U.S. government overreach on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – March 11, 2016
Former CIA Director: FBI wants to dictate iPhone’s operating system – March 11, 2016
FBI warns it could demand Apple’s iPhone code and secret electronic signature – March 10, 2016
California Democrat Diane Feinstein backs U.S. government overreach over Apple – March 10, 2016
Snowden: U.S. government’s claim it can’t unlock San Bernardino iPhone is ‘bullshit’ – March 10, 2016
Apple could easily lock rights-trampling governments out of future iPhones – February 20, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook lashes out at Obama administration over encryption, bemoans White House lack of leadership – January 13, 2016
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Rene” for the heads up.]


      1. Actually, it is nice for botvinnik to be right w the rest of us for once.

        Unfortunately, this is not the ONE thing botvinnik is right about.

        1. Ha ha! Is that your good buddy singing about when he entered the Primaries?

          Gotta say, it’s great all you clowns stick together!

          And speaking of clowns…Boy, what a scrambling as clown show the White House is! The staff clowns can barely keep up with all left turns and lies that ejaculate out of Big Baby Ass Clown’s mouth!

          New metaphor: The whole thing is like watching a slow motion train wreck! Love it!

          1. Conspiracy to commit murder charges will be brought against Hillary in the death of Seth Rich. DNC blames the Russians for leaks when it was one of their own who shot him in the back …who’s laughing now, dickhead?

            1. Assange told a Dutch reporter last August:

              [O]ur sources take risks, and they, they become concerned to see things occurring like that, whistle-blowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. As a 27-year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.

            2. Yes, because endorsing an out-there conspiracy theory is something Assange would NEVER do, right? He was clearly working against the Clinton campaign last year; accusing her of murder falls along those same lines. A year later, there is ZERO EVIDENCE that his murder was politically motivated, as opposed to a street crime.

      1. There may be a paucity of such reasons but his stout goal-line stand defending privacy is one of them.

        Another is the ass-reaming Tim likely gave his execs after getting fed up with their dawdling on pro Macs. I can picture him perching on a table edge in a locker room, facing a group of sweating, chastened men, reading aloud from a thick sheaf of angry fan mail, leaving out none of the choice language colouring the attacks. “Not what you’d call sky-high customer sat, right boys? Marketing may have our millenial users under control, but that don’t wash with our pro users. The want cold steel and fast pit stops, not pinstriping.”

        “The Mac is the goose that laid the golden egg,” he concludes. “Now y’all get out there and tell these fine people we’re fattening her up. And then get back to the labs and fire up the teams. Tell ’em to gin up something to choke a rooster and spit out the gizzard.” After a moment, looking up: “What?—You’re stll here?” And they scramble out.

        1. In this scenario, Ive would likely not have been there but in his lab squeezing out all of the dust and air out of his new iPhone, and shaving a picometer from its surface, to make it lighter and thinner knowing that Jobs put him above Pipeline.

  1. The secret conversations on blame inside the CIA would be interesting to intercept about now.

    Security scenarios have plagued weapons from time immemorial. Spreading weapons, poisons or infectious agents means your own folks might ultimately be the targets.

    Time to pull Intel’s AMT, before it gets to hackers. Hope Apple had this pulled from its Intel chips.

  2. It makes a pretty clear picture of those who thump their chest and arrogantly boast of being secure while they leak like a sieve.

    Then there are those that deliver and let others see how great they are by their acts, not their hollow boasting.

    Way to go Apple, keep being great and MAGA (Make Assholes Go Away).

  3. Tim did a good job on that. It was so hard for Apple to do it as the FBI exploited the terrorism shooting but Cook had enough resolve to stand up to it as there were broader implications. Especially hard as the general public, the politicians as well as the non tech press have very little understanding of the issue.

    1. i was just thinking…

      I read the ‘prevention steps’ on Zdnet which was to patch old computers and load the latest like Win 10.

      Some people in panic are going to o that and then realize that a lot of their OLD peripherals like printers, video cards etc and software are going to have problems. Coincidentally enough yesterday I spoke to a person who was using a 15 year old Win PC and can’t remember which year he last updated it …

  4. On Sunday, the ’60 Minutes’ program on CBS re-ran their interview with now former FBI Director James Comey. It clearly reiterated the fact that he does not understand technology. That’s what caused his backdoor blundering. I expect he’s sincere in his respect for the US Constitution (as opposed to the NSA in general). But his techno-blunders point out that The Chasm between the techno-literate and the techno-illiterate is GROWING.

    I continue to hear rage from neo-luddites. The new word for evil is TECHNOCRAT!, whatever that means. In our current world of rampant decay due to parasitic corporatocracy, I have no idea what they’re going on about. But somehow, even before the home robots arrive, certain people are sharpening pitchforks and lighting torches. It could get rambunctious! 🤖🤖💥🔥💥🤡🤡

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