American DriveSavers began selling Apple iPhone hacking services. Dear, but absolutely legal. It seems to be. How serious is this and what consequences can it have on Apple's reputation?
California-based DriveSavers, a specialist in digital data recovery, said it could open all locked gadgets in the iOS operating system. Of course, only if the company confirms that they are legal owners or their heirs.
Yes, it is so when "white hackers" put their skills in the service of good ideas.
Apple uses the highest standards of encryption that in 2016 led to the FBI's telephonist terrorist conflict. This is the highest level of cloud protection for iPhone, and iCloud is one of Apple's key trump cards. Thanks to this, many of today's powerful worlds quietly trust the most important secrets of iPhone and iPad.
And suddenly it turned out that someone could destroy this protection. Even for good purposes. How does it affect Tim Cook's reputation?
What do hackers promise?
"The first service is offered exclusively to users who have forgotten a password from their devices, blocked after a few mistaken attempts to enter a password, and also for those who need access to data from the facilities of the deceased family members," says the DriveSavers release.
The company claims that other professionals offer this service only to law enforcement agencies. DriveSavers, on the other hand, is unavailable to law enforcement authorities and will not work on the orders of the police or the FBI. It is, however, quite accessible to ordinary users. Of course she is not poor.
In a commentary on The Verge, the company speaker wrote that hacking iPhone or iPad costs $ 3,900. Depending on the situation, the service may require death certificate, will, court documents, etc.
In other words, the company claims to have technology that can circumvent data protection that Apple uses but does not want to use it for unfair purposes.
DriveSavers does not disclose details of its technology, but states that their "legal hacking" is successful in 100% of cases.
Responding to questions from the MacRumors release, a representative of DriveSavers said that "hacking" is safe for the device itself, in other words, the user who paid the iPhone for unlocking the iPhone will receive the unlocked device back. In addition, account data can be copied to external media.
Apple's buzz and privacy have not changed for more than two years.
In March 2016, Apple attacked the US government by refusing security services access to their users' personal data. The FBI and other official entities could not access Apple's private data contained in the iPhone 5C Sayed Farouk, known as "Bernard's Shooter."
The FBI claimed that the iPhone of the deceased terrorist contained photographs and correspondence that could help to hold back other members of its radical terrorist cell.
The smartphone of the terrorists was blocked by a security code (standard security precautions on the iPhone before fingerprint readers and face recognition). In fact, the FBI did not even request access to terrorist data, but only required Apple to eliminate the limitations of attempts to enter. The smartphone did not appear after 10 unsuccessful attempts.
However, Tim Cook refused to meet the FBI and claimed that the company could not give the FBI a powerful weapon in cracking iPhone.
He did not change his position even after the FBI took over the Supreme Court, not to mention the public condemnation of US President Donald Trump.
Independent experts welcomed the decision of the IT giant and even predicted the fall of the United States from the stand of a world technological and military leader. It was said that democracy so strongly triumphed that the state that led the war for defending democracy became its hostage.
Apple has made sure it's always ready to meet law enforcement agencies and transfers all available data to court decisions. This is not always enough. In fact, due to the use of end-to-end encryption, in many cases the company itself has no access to user data.
Eventually, the FBI received data from the terrorist smartphone through its collaboration with Israeli computer security company. According to the FBI, it has paid $ 1 million to the Israelis for hacking a terrorist phone.
Several months ago it was known that US security services and police of several states were buying a special iPhone hacking device – GreyKey.
Motherboard said the development of this facility was a former Apple engineer.
GreyKey is a box of dimensions 10 x 10 cm with two Lightning cables and the price depends on the length of work: $ 15,000 is asked for a device that requires an Internet connection and can unlock up to 300 iPhone phones and $ 30,000 is a model that works offline with an unlimited number of hacks
It is reported that GreyKey can open the iPhone for two to several days if the unlock password has more than 6 characters.
According to the police, access to the history of calls, contacts, news and media files is essential because most crimes are now committed through electronic devices.
Apple responded relatively quickly to GreyKey reports and added a limited USB protection mode to iOS 11.4.1.
This feature should block unauthorized connections to the iPhone through the Lightning Port. The external connector blocks all connections and data transfers one hour after the phone is locked.
The USB constraint mode can be found in the latest versions for iOS under Settings> Touch ID and Passwords> USB Accessories.
Roughly speaking, Apple gives you the opportunity to make sure that your iPhone (or iPad) can not be attacked if law enforcement agencies (or attackers like luck) do not have access to your device within the first hour after you have stopped looking forward to them.
Why is it important?
The network was skeptical of DriveSavers, as Apple has established itself as a company with an extremely high level of user privacy.
However, what if the "white hackers" really have the technical skills to unlock the iPhone and gain access to user data?
Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, has often said privacy is a basic human right, and society will not let anyone enter the privacy of their customers.
In some ways, the price of the DriveSavers hacking service, which is several times higher than that of the Apple device, is quite logical because it questions the reliability of the most expensive brand in the world.
Can such a service affect Apple's worldwide reputation as a smartphone manufacturer that can be trusted as an accountant? Probably yes, some experts say.
This may be the reason for a new round of discussions on the security of alternative solutions, such as Knox from Samsung, which has not yet been compromised.
It's also unclear what happens if the DriveSavers assistance is required by the FBI in the case of another smartphone terrorist. Or the government of any country will ask for an "open" iPhone, such as a human rights activist or opposition leader.
The fact that such a solution exists may indicate that it may (or any equivalent) use other companies whose hacking policy may not be as good as DriveSavers.
Apple still commented on the news. It is not yet clear whether the security hole found by DriveSavers employees may be closed at the next iOS update.
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