On Wednesday morning Apple CEO, Tim Cook, rocked the nation with the issuance of a letter to Apple’s customers. In this letter Cook intended to reveal information about a court order that went out on Tuesday requiring Apple to assist the F.B.I. in their investigation of the San Bernardino terrorist attack that took place in December. Specifically, Tim wished to voice his dissatisfaction with the court’s order and his intention to push back.
What exactly is the F.B.I. requesting of Apple?
The court order would force Apple to create, essentially, a “back door” to the iPhone. You see, one of the attackers in the SB shooting owned and used an iPhone 5c, which is now locked by a passcode. Apple has a built-in security mechanism that will automatically erase the entire contents of the phone after a certain amount of unsuccessful attempt to unlock it (logical, right?).
The F.B.I. want to be able to access this iPhone to investigate the attackers pre-shooting behavior and find out if he had been in close contact with any ISIS members.
So what’s the big deal?
You may be thinking to yourself, “Well, what’s the big deal? Have Apple open the phone and let the F.B.I. do what it wants….”
The issue isn’t that simple.
As Cook stated in his letter, the type of software that can “guess” passcodes with unlimited attempts doesn’t exist yet for iPhones. Creating it could put every iPhone-user in the world in serious jeopardy, as well. Once that type of technology is in the wrong hands, virtually every iPhone currently in use could be “opened up” by this “back door” and, just like that, your whole world becomes exposed to the masses.
Naturally, Cook and the rest of the Apple team are putting up an enormous fight. Apple has always been at the top of the smartphone game due to its unprecedented achievements in information security. To comply with the demands of the F.B.I. would put all this in jeopardy and send them back to the bottom tiers. Additionally, from a more general standpoint, Apple knows what kind of precedent this could set for government demands in the future should they give into these orders now.
Suffice it to say, the end of this story will be one that professionals of every industry will want to be familiar with. After all, if Americans don’t have personal security and privacy what do they have?
Do you agree with Apple’s position?
Whether you do or don’t, you should still be deeply interested in the topic of information security. Billions of dollars are lost by individuals and businesses each year due to failures in this vital area. Unless both individuals and businesses take substantive measures to tighten security policies, these numbers will continue to grow.
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So, simply put, you can trust us to get the job done–and to get it done right.