Apple opens up about the security in its devices in both in the hardware and the software.
The press briefing was done by Apple engineers and some details that were previously kept secret were disclosed and in some instances, in-depth knowledge in security protocol is required for maximum comprehension.
But one does not need a degree in Computer Science to get the timeliness of the press briefing and why Apple of all companies should reveal such secrets.
Why the fruity company has decided to go with this strategy is unclear to us especially at the point where Apple and the American government (specifically FBI) are at loggerheads because of the difficulty of hacking or breaking into an iPhone due to the encryption.
The government is of the mind that if the iPhone is less secure, it will be easier to catch criminals and terrorists red-handed. Meanwhile, Apple is of the mind that if they do corporate and compromise their integrity, then the privacy of their customers will be at risk.
For them, it seems to be business before national security but that is just my personal opinion.
The press briefing was just a show of power to the government; it was like they were basically sticking their tongue out to the NSA, CIA and the FBI.
The security for the iPhone is comprised of the usual industry standard and the Apple-designed hardware.
The powerhouse of the security of iPhone begins in the chip inside the phone according to the Apple engineers.
The memory chip inside the phone has a secret key that can only be accessed by Apple.
If a third party, other than Apple themselves or the owner of the phone, tries to hack into the phone via an iOS version, the legit iOS software would not run for the attacker especially due to the fact that he does not possess the secret key.
This is the case for the iPhone 3GS.
There is something called the boot chain. The boot chain is a chain of security commands built into the iOS mobile software which ensures that the secret key is first validated before ever iOS could begin to boot up the device.
The secure boot chain has been released by Apple in a whitepaper about the iOS security.
The architecture of the security of the iPhone makes it extremely hard for a hacker even with the implantation of a bug in the software.
Customers always have to install the latest version of iOS in order to protect their devices from attacks which why Apple sends notifications to remind customers.
Now, only 1.3GB of space on the phone is needed for an update instead of the 4.6GB for the iOS 8, and the update option that takes place while you’re asleep has brought the upgrade rate of iOS to 80%.
There is a piece of hardware found between the phone’s flash memory and its RAM. Its job is solely to perform encryption. There is also an Apple-specific ‘secure enclave’ which is a coprocessor introduced three years ago that also uses encrypted memory and it’s not readily accessible to the other systems of the same phone.
ALMOST 90 PERCENT OF THE IPHONE USERS ARE USING A SECURE PASSCODE, THANKS TO THE TOUCH ID
Before the addition of the TouchID on all Apple smartphones three years ago, about half of all the iPhone users used passcodes in order to secure their privacy on their devices.
according to Apple, this number has increased by an additional 40% of all iPhone users. Four to six digits are required to create a pin for setting the TouchID on the iPhone.
Apple’s discussion of its various security layers comes at a heated moment in tech security.
All this talk comes at a time when the Apple and the FBI are having some sort of lovers’ quarrel over the decryption of an iPhone that belonged to a deceased terrorist.
It was reported in the Washington Post that the FBI has been able to hack into the iPhone connected to the San Bernardino terrorist attack with the help of some hackers who are collectively known as ‘gray hats’.
They supposedly found a flaw in the security of the iPhone 5C.
According to The Washington Post, the hackers were able to “create a piece of hardware … to crack the iPhone’s four-digit personal identification number without triggering a security feature that would have erased all the data.”
The hackers reportedly made a piece pf hardware that was successful at cracking the pin used to secure the phone by its user without triggering a built-in feature that would have wiped the phone clean.
In the past, it was the reported that the Israeli firm of Cellebrite, lent a hand to the FBI for the successful hacking on the iPhone but that doesn’t seem to be correct.
Along with the FBI, Apple is to testify before congress this coming week. (I wonder how many times Apple will plead the fifth in the hearing).
Another reason for this upset might be the police’s ‘bad’ of not asking for Apple’s help in hacking an iPhone that was part of a drug investigation in the year of 2014. Could all this simply be a ‘you should have asked me first’ situation?
By the end of the hearing, the government is hoping to have some kind of law that would force tech companies such as Apple to decrypt data on all of their devices in unique cases such as terrorist attacks and other criminal activities.
But Apple has pushed back, insisting that forcing Apple to break into the phone would be an overreach and would hold back innovation in cybersecurity.
Apple refuses to budge, adding that that if they were forced to breach the privacy of their customers, it would set back innovation in cybersecurity. That’s a direct quote which I think is being hyperbolized a bit.
When it comes to National security, hacking into a digital device should not even be an issue; it should be a must.
Apple and other companies should corporate and those who are afraid of their secrets being exposed, I say this to you: Once you are not involved in any criminal or terrorist activities, then you have nothing to worry about.