The FBI is confident that it can bypass the encryption protecting the infamous San Bernardino iPhone without any assistance from Apple engineers.
The government is currently not disclosing how Celebrite, the “third party” that promised to provide it access to the device belonging to San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook plans to go about its mission. Neither it is known for sure if they will be really able to pull it off.
However, with all possible outcomes from this new twist in the tale taken into account, it is hardly a matter of speculation that Apple will find itself at the receiving end of the whole chaos even if the said “third party” is able to live by its promise to the government.
Yes, Apple will probably get rid of the ongoing court case, but as Chris Smith of Boy Genius Report points out, it will probably lead to a whole range of new troubles for Cupertino.
First and foremost, the fact that the FBI is taking help from a third-party to hack the three-year-old iPhone in a way proves the point that hackers and independent security firms are well equipped with the know-how of breaking the security barriers in an Apple device. And there goes the long-standing myth about Apple devices having invincible security out of the window.
Second and more worryingly, if an independent firm can pull this off, there’s absolutely no reason to presume that heavily funded intelligence agencies like the NSA are incapable of performing these rather demanding geeky stunts.
(Side note: Some analysts believe, the NSA knew how to get into Farook’s phone all along – they just didn’t want to share that knowledge with another agency)/
So, combining both these logics, what good an encryption system is if it is breakable by any agency – government or private – with the requisite funding and technical know-how.
And finally, if FBI manages to hack into the device with the Israeli firm’s assistance and subsequently decides to drop the case against Apple, it won’t be legally or otherwise obliged to disclose how it got through the encryption.
Moreover, Apple will never be sure if the technique used to hack Farook’s device will work with other iPhone models as well.
Meanwhile, in a related news, Apple is reportedly working to build its own servers to develop a stronger and more credible deterrence against cyber snooping.