Apple is reportedly working on a new way to secure its iPhones that would make it even harder for governments to gain access.
As you’ve doubtless seen, Apple is currently embroiled in a court (and PR) battle with the FBI over iPhone encryption. The FBI wants to force Apple to build a piece of software that would compromise the security of a single iPhone linked with the San Bernardino shootings.
Apple, for its part, claims that this would ultimately compromise the data security of its millions of customers.
However, a new report has come to light suggesting that Apple is working on an all new way to secure its iPhones. The New York Times claims that Apple engineers are working on an even more extreme level of iPhone security that would effectively negate the hacking methods currently being discussed.
The US government wants Apple to exploit a loophole in its security measures that allows an iPhone’s software to be updated without requiring user authentication. It’s intended to make repairs easier, but it also serves as the system’s biggest weak point, as identified by the FBI.
Apple’s new measures would effectively close this loophole. Indeed, one source claims that Apple began these efforts even before the San Bernardino shooting that sparked this confrontation occurred.
If Apple proves successful, as it almost certainly will, then the US government would be right back to square one even if it proves to be successful in forcing Apple to act in this case.
The only way out of this ‘arms race’, says the report, is for the US Congress to modify legislation. At present, tech companies like Apple and Google aren’t included in US wiretapping laws that require mobile operators to make data accessible to the government.
The current White House administration has so far been unwilling to change the law in this regard, but that may not be the case forever.