Apple to undercut popular law-enforcement tool for cracking iPhones

Ceria Alfonso
Junio 14, 2018

Apple will address a popular law-enforcement tool for breaking into iPhones, the company announced Wednesday.

Earlier in the month, we reported that Apple may be planning to push back against the "affordable" GrayKey iPhone unlocking boxes being sold by a former Apple employee to government authorities. According to these sources we can expect to see Apple ditch the Lightning connector in favour of the widely adopted USB Type-C standard for iPhone set to release next year.

This USB-C charging option will, likely, save money for Apple since lots of other manufacturers are already using this tech which should have pushed manufacturing costs down.

Obviously, this major design change needs to be carefully tested, the next-gen iPhones and iPads will keep the Lightning connector.

If a law enforcement agency wants to gain access to an iPhone, its options are limited, even with a warrant. "We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don't design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs", the company said in a statement.

The conflict hit its public apex in 2014 after the Federal Bureau of Investigation took Apple to court in an effort to compel it to break into the phone of a gunman who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif.

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Then-FBI Director James Comey told Congress that without compelling Apple to write new software to facilitate the digital break-in, there would be no way to learn if the shooter's device contained evidence of a conspiracy.

To break into the devices, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local police have resorted to employing third-parties.

Apple has said it will change iPhone settings to block a method used by police and intelligence agencies to break into devices.

That solution should thwart iPhone cracking devices like those made by GrayShift and Cellebrite.

The update will be available in iOS 12, the company's latest mobile operating system, when it comes out later this year. iOS 12 works on the iPhone 5S and later models.

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