Apple makes sure law enforcement authorities can't break into iPhone

Apple iPhone5 showing its screen with numpad for entering the passcode

Now, the time has come for Apple to take it all to the next level, so they are apparently working on replacing the Lightning connector in the next-gen iPhone and iPad devices with USB Type-C. Cook has maintained his concern about the dangers of weakened security in digital devices in recent months as Facebook found itself mired in a scandal over the potential misuse of user data by political firm Cambridge Analytica. New products from companies like Cellebrite and GrayShift use a USB connection through Apple's proprietary Lightning port in order to bypass limits on passcode attempts that Apple built into the operating system.

Apple has confirmed plans to bolt shut a security hole in iPhone devices that law enforcement agencies have been using to gain entrance into locked handsets after seizing them from suspected criminals.

Apple has had a long bumpy history with federal law enforcement when it comes to unlocking iPhones. News of Apple's planned software update has begun spreading through security blogs and law enforcement circles-and many in investigative agencies are infuriated. It's also bad news for law enforcement because it means companies like Grayshift and Celebrite won't have effective hacks into our phones.

On Wednesday, Apple said it was aware of the vulnerability and made a decision to patch it.

Despite suggestions that it could compel Apple to hand over the source code to iOS the bureau ended up using the services of a third party to unlock the smartphone. The FBI demanded Apple create special software so it could unlock the iPhone belonging to one of the attackers in the San Bernardino shooting in 2015.

"This move shows that Apple is putting the consumer's privacy first, at least in this instance", Troy Kent, threat researcher at Awake Security, told Threatpost.

Apple makes sure law enforcement authorities can't break into iPhone
Apple makes sure law enforcement authorities can't break into iPhone

Hillar Moore, the district attorney in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said his office had paid Cellebrite thousands of dollars to unlock iPhones in five cases since 2017, including an investigation into the hazing-related death of a fraternity pledge at Louisiana State University.

Law enforcement may be angered by this but private companies are not obligated to make law enforcement's job easier.

In an effort to stop hackers and other unauthorised parties from unlocking its devices, Apple has announced that it will soon change the default settings of its iPhone.

"This could be painted as fundamentally about denying law enforcement access, but this is a security vulnerability", said Julian Sanchez, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

The encryption on smartphones only applies to data stored exclusively on the phone.

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