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Post FBI Tussle, Apple To Make iPhone Hacking Harder

... Ramya Krishnan

Apple is reportedly planning about methods to make it even harder to hack iPhones. According to the New York Times & FT, Apple wants to prevent passcode-free recovery mode in future iPhones and encrypt iPhone backups on iCloud.

These moves by the company come in the backdrop of its tussle with the FBI. The FBI found an iPhone that used to belong to one of the suspects in the San Bernardino terrorist attack and wanted Apple to give a backdoor to access data on this phone. FBI, particularly wants Apple to create a new firmware that would let the FBI unlock the iPhone and access an iCloud backup of the terrorists phone.

The thought process in Apple seems to be that in future the best way to refuse complying to these orders would be to make this technically impossible, apparently by disabling or limiting “DFU (device Firmware update) mode. DFU mode is at the center of the current debate as its current design makes the FBI requests possible.  

When it comes to iCloud security, Apple currently owns the decryption keys . However post current controversy, Apple may give the private key to its customers so that the company wouldn’t be able to decrypt backups.

All these moves will take time to implement and will also put customers at greater risk in cases where they lose the private keys which will disable their phones permanently.