After a few months of pounding away at the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, the FBI announced that they no longer needed the government’s help to hack the desired data. Nope, they broke into that bad boy all by their lonesome. So, not only did this negate the need for a legal ruling, this horrified iPhone users everywhere. All of a sudden, their selfies and their virtual wallets, along with plenty of other data, seem much more vulnerable than a mere iCloud hack could indicate. Does anyone really want the world learning that they listen to Marilyn Manson on repeat at the gym? No.
Of course, the iCloud vulnerabilities were horrific enough, as we saw when celebrities had their photos stolen in 2014. Plus, there was a brief malware blip about a month ago too. Apple does take its security seriously, however, and they dug in their heels with the feds by refusing to help unlock the shooter’s phone. Now that the FBI has cracked the code, they’re saying they’ll do so whenever they want (when it’s legal). And they wrote a letter to local law enforcement to extend that benefit beyond a federal scope:
The FBI said in a letter to local authorities that it understands the challenges they face and that they lack necessary tools to monitor and investigate the communications of suspects who use encrypted mobile devices.
“As has been our longstanding policy, the FBI will of course consider any tool that might be helpful to our partners,” the FBI said. “Please know that we will continue to do everything we can to help you consistent with our legal and policy constraints.”
As of right now, Apple is vowing to plug the hole because they’re certain the FBI’s method won’t stay secret for long. As soon as Apple makes its move, the battle between the company and the government shall be reignited. Grab the popcorn, folks. This show won’t be over for a very long time.