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Opinion: Apple hacked iPhone secretly terrorists for the FBI

On Tuesday, the U.S. justice Department has publicly stated that the investigation was able to crack the protection “of the arrow San Bernardino” without the help of Apple. The Agency has filed a petition for review of the claim to the company. At the time, as some experts suggest that the FBI “just got lucky” – the terrorist was a legacy model iPhone 5c, which is quite vulnerable to various kinds of attacks, others believe that Apple itself has provided the services tools for hacking, but did it behind the scenes. This opinion, in particular, adheres to journalist Maxim Kononenko.


Let me remind you briefly the story of this drama. December 2, 2015 at 10:59 a.m. in the conference room of the Center for social welfare of the American city of San Bernardino, California, a married couple of Pakistani origin opened fire with semi-automatic rifles and pistols. 14 dead, 21 injured. The attackers themselves were killed. In the hands of the investigation got password-protected the iPhone 5C one of the terrorists, and the investigation concerned with the removal of this password in order to search the device possible traces of contacts with the killers, not the IG.

But here’s the thing: after a few scandals with the publication in the Internet of intimate photos and SMS conversations of stars and politicians came up with Apple for its devices such protection, which (as is declared) can not circumvent, and Apple itself. In order not to burden the reader with technical details, let me just say that if the phone has a password, then all data encrypted using this password. The password itself is also encrypted with a key stored only on this phone, that is, the brute force is only possible on this device. The password is encrypted several times, and one time validation while the brute is approximately 80 milliseconds. That is, to try all possible 6-character passwords, you will need more than five years. The iOS system after each bad password increases the response time, after three wrong attempts locks the phone for a few minutes, and after 10 wrong attempts (if corresponding option was set) completely erases all data from your phone.

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Because the FBI did not know exactly what options are included, experiments with zaparoleny phone could be dangerous to the data. And then the Agency turned to Apple.

The company said that without the password, the data cannot be deciphered. Any other answer they could give — because it would mean that the Apple phones are not protected. Then the FBI contacted the Ministry of justice, and they filed a lawsuit demanding that Apple has created a special software tool that would allow to receive data access your phone without password.

The situation escalated so much that Apple CEO Tim cook wrote a special message to the users of the company’s products, which he justified his refusal in General terms that terrorism should be fought, but user rights above all else. And what if tool for hacking the iPhone is created, it would mean the possibility of its creation and then nobody will give guarantees that such a tool is not created by someone else. Apple has support for Twitter, Google and Facebook. A group supporting the rights of Internet users Fight For the Future announced the worldwide rallies in support of Apple’s position.

Later on there was amazing. A few hours before the March 22 meeting of the court was to hear the case, the U.S. justice Department suddenly asked to defer consideration. And substantiated request that, perhaps in the possession of the FBI was the technology to circumvent the encryption and without Apple. A week later, it was found that the method works, and the Ministry of justice recalled his suit.

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Isn’t it, what a magical coincidence? And who is the mysterious hacker who managed to do something that defended itself Apple?

I would venture to suggest that the name of this hacker is well known. Before Tim cook stood a difficult choice. It was possible to delay the process, but meanwhile the iPhone has become the main communication tool of the terrorists, because now the whole world knows that his defense is reliable. And who knows, do not turn the public opinion against Apple, after a bloody terrorist attack the terrorists again find iPhone. The same is possible in case Apple will win the court. “Apple supports terrorists” — and it is a nightmare to imagine.

The other option is to lose the court. And still make the program that would have meant a betrayal of their users and ascertaining their helplessness in front of hackers. Reputational loss is huge.

A third option: to provide the special services required tool. But to do it behind the scenes. And in response to reports of the emergence of a tool to say that Apple would increase the protection of iPhone, and will remain a reliable. And when protection will be enhanced to provide security services reinforced the instrument, but do it very quietly, without public bickering and courts.

The advantage of the third option over the second is obvious: users will be nervous until the next version of iOS, and then again calms down. And be at peace as long as anyone will not pass the same protection for the iPhone (after all, we now know that this is possible). And there the Apple will strengthen it again.

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Here you might say: conspiracy theories. Maybe. But after supporting Apple in the confrontation with the security services company Google, as it turned out, worked for the state Department of services for the promotion of defections of the Syrian military, believe that a mysterious hacker was the FBI brought its revolutionary technology just before the court session, absolutely impossible.

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