Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Apple's New Challenge: Learning How the U.S. Crached It's iPhone

The U.S. government has been looking for Apple's help to unlock the iPhone of Syed Rizwan Farook, a shooter in the San Bernadino rampage. However Applewas unwilling to help because it wanted to protect the security of its other customers. Recently, the government announced that it unlocked the phone without Apple's help and now Apple is looking to find and fix the hole in its security system. Apple wants to reassure its customers quickly that the information on their iPhones and on the Cloud are protected and cannot be viewed by the government.

The information that people store on their iPhones is constantly increasing. They have everything from bank account information to health records on their phones, all private information. Not only people afraid of others in the public accessing and or using information that is on their phone, but people are even more defensive when it comes to the government having any information about them. Now that the government has gotten access to the iPhone, people are obviously concerned about other iPhones the government can gain access to now. Apple wants to quickly increase their security system so that they can reassure their customers of this fear. Information technology is constantly expanding and increasing, therefore the security systems to protect that information needs to increase as well.

The biggest roadblock for Apple in filling their hole in the security system is that they don't know what to fix. The government will not release what third part company helped them unlock the phone and how they achieved this. Apple needs to first find out how they were able to gain access to the phone so that they can block this access through creation of a new security system. There are many reasons as to why the government would not want to share this information with the public. One reason could be for security so that those who may want to cause harm through gaining people's information on their iPhone cannot have the tools do so. Another reason could also be that they want to continue to use this process, without being blocked by Apple, so that they can gain access to more Americans' iPhones.

Apple understands that constant increased protection of iPhone users’ information is becoming just as, if not even more, important to customers than the creation of new devices. The importance of security is shown in that “Security professionals are some of the most sought-after engineers in the technology sector.” Apple’s security teams are constantly changing and evolving to meet the evolving needs of its customers.

I feel as though the article could have discussed less the personnel changes of Apple’s security team and more about what exactly the security team does on a daily basis. The author should have also gone into more detail about why the government will not release the information about how they unlocked the phone. Finally, I wish reactions to this topic of iPhone users was included in the article as well.

Benner, Katie, John Markoff, and Nicole Perlroth. "Apple’s New Challenge:
     Learning How the U.S. Cracked Its iPhone." The New York Times [New York,
     NY] 29 Mar. 2016: n. pag. The New York Times. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.


  1. I find your take on this issue to be interesting. As much as there is a need for Apple to learn how the phone was accessed they really shouldn't waste their time. There will always be a way for people to gain access to phones without the need of advanced software work arounds. The issue really lies in the hardware of the devices and how circuitry works. By taking apart the phone and inspecting each chip you're able to determine where certain information is held. Having some background experience in tech security I know that its not hard to make a duplicate of certain components in a cell phone. If one wants to gain access they would simply move the data to another source and if they fail they repeat the process. This can be fixed by Apple but I'm sure other ways such as this will be found. Encryption is powerful but instead of trying to get to the raw data they must think of ways around it. Unfortunately the FBI was unable to figure something out which resulted in this public cry for help. I am sure though that Apple will recover and increase their security as you stated.

  2. This is an interesting issue, for it is difficult to judge whether Apple should of just given the government the ability to get into this phone, due to the severity of the issue. That being said, Apple has a responsibility to protect the security of their customers. Now that the government has found a loophole in security system, I agree that Apple needs to find out how that was done and change the system so that will not be possible. Beyond the issue of the government being able to break into all of their phones as of now, is the issue that if the government could find this loophole any incredibly talented hacker may also be able to break through the security system. Apple devices hold a large amount of their consumers important, and private information, therefore it would be detrimental if other hackers were able to hack into the IPhones the same way the government did. Apple’s security team needs to be able to figure out where this gap was in their security system soon before others find the same gap. I also agree that it would be good to see more of the public’s opinion on this issue, for if others find this gap a large amount of people’s private information is at risk.


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