American company DriveSavers began selling hacking services to the Apple iPhone. Expensive, but completely legal. It seems to be. How serious is this and what can Apple's reputation be?
California-based DriveSavers, specializing in digital data recovery, said the iOS operating system could open all the closed gadgets. Of course, only if the company has a confirmation that it concerns the legal owner of the device or its heirs.
Yes, this is the case when white hackers put their skills in favor of the idea.
Apple uses the highest coding standards, which in 2016 caused the company to conflict with FBI phone terrorists. This is the highest level of data protection iPhone and the iCloud cloud service are one of the main hits of Apple. Thanks to this, many of the world's most powerful people are quietly relying on the most important secrets of the iPhone and iPad.
And suddenly it turns out that someone is able to break this protection. Even for good needs. How will it affect Tim Cook's reputation?
What are the hackers?
"The first service of the same type is offered only to users who have forgotten the password from their devices, blocked them after several incorrect password attempts, as well as those who need access to data from devices from deceased family members," the press release said. DriveSavers.
The company claims that other experts only offer this service to law enforcement agencies. On the contrary, the DriveSavers service is not available to law enforcement agencies and will not work according to a police or FBI order. But it's quite accessible to ordinary users. Of course not bad.
In the comments, The Verge's spokeswoman said that the iPhone or iPad hack was $ 3900. Depending on the situation, the service may request a death certificate, will, court documents, etc.
In other words, the company claims that it is a technology that can circumvent the protection of Apple's protected data, but does not intend to use it for fraudulent purposes.
DriveSavers does not disclose information about their technology, but claims that their "legal crackdown" is successful in 100% of cases.
Answering questions from the MacRumors release, DriveSavers spokesman said, inter alia, that "hacker" security is the device itself, in other words, the user who pays the company to unlock the iPhone will receive an unlocked device. Additionally, account data can be copied on an external storage medium.
The buzz around Apple and the protection of personal data have not diminished for more than two years.
In March 2016 Apple challenged the US government by denying security services access to its user data. The FBI, and then other official bodies, could not obtain Apple's access to private data contained in the iPhone 5C Sayed Farouk, known as the "Bernardino shooter".
The FBI claimed that the dead terrorist's iPhone contained photographs and correspondence that could help hold other members of a radical terrorist cell.
A terrorist smartphone was blocked using a security code (standard iPhone security before fingerprint scanners and face recognition are displayed). In fact, the FBI did not even request access to terrorist data, but only Apple requested the removal of restrictions on the number of input attempts. To prevent a smartphone from blocking after 10 unsuccessful attempts.
However, Tim Cook refused to meet with the FBI, pointing out that the company could not give the FBI a powerful weapon to break the iPhone.
He did not change his position after the FBI took over the Supreme Court, not to mention the public condemnation of US President Donald Trump.
Independent experts welcomed the IT giant's decision and even foreseen the fall of the United States from the world's technical and military leader's podium. They said that democracy had been won to such an extent that the country that led the war on democratic defense became its hostage.
Apple has stated that it is always ready to meet law enforcement agencies and hand over all available data by court order. However, this is not always enough. Indeed, thanks to full encryption, in many cases, the company itself does not have access to user data.
In the end, the FBI was able to obtain data from a terrorist smartphone through collaboration with an Israeli computer security company. According to rumors, the FBI paid the Israelis $ 1 million for a crackdown on a terrorist cell phone.
A few months ago, it became known that the US security services and police bought special devices in several countries to crack the iPhone – GrayKey.
In an investigation into the publication of the Motherboard, it was noted that the development of this device was a former engineer Apple.
GrayKey is a 10×10 cm box with two lightning-conductive cables, and it costs a lifetime: 15,000 suits are required for a device that requires an Internet connection and can unlock up to 300 iPhones and a $ 30,000 model that works offline with unlimited number of hacks
GrayKey is reported to be able to open iPhone from two hours to several days if the password to unlock is more than 6 characters long.
According to police data, access to the history of conversations, contacts, news and media files is necessary, since most of the crimes are now committed thanks to electronic devices.
Apple quickly reacted to the news of GrayKey and added a limited USB connection protection mode to iOS 11.4.1.
The feature should block an unauthorized connection to the iPhone using the Lightning port. The external connector blocks each connection and data transmission an hour after the phone is locked.
USB Restriction Mode is available in the latest iOS versions under Settings> Face ID (Touch ID) and Passwords> USB Accessories.
Roughly speaking, Apple gives you the opportunity to make sure that your iPhone (or iPad) can not be hacked if law enforcement agencies (or intruders happy) did not have access to your device during the first hour after they stopped.
Why is this important?
The network was skeptical about DriveSaver's announcements, as Apple has emerged as a company with an extremely high level of user data protection.
However, what if the white hackers really have the technical capabilities to unlock the iPhone and access user data?
Apple CEO Tim Cook has often said that privacy is a fundamental human right and that the company will not allow everyone to engage in the privacy of their customers.
From the point of view, the cost of DriveSavers, which exceeds the price of Apple's gadgets several times, is quite logical, since the company is questioning the world's most expensive brand.
Can the emergence of such a service affect Apple's global reputation as a smartphone manufacturer that can be entrusted to its accountant? Probably yes, some experts say.
This may be the reason for the discussion of a new stage in the safety of alternative solutions, for example, from the Samsung company Knox, which has not been threatened.
It is also unclear what will happen if DriveSavers is asking FBI for help in one of the next terrorist smartphone cases. Or, any government will require "open" the iPhone, such as human rights activists or opposition leaders.
The fact that such a solution may indicate that it (or some equivalents) may be used by other companies whose security policy may not be as attractive as DriveSavers.
Apple has not yet commented on the news. It is not yet clear whether DriveSavers employees can open their security hole the next time that iOS is upgraded.
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