Sorry, FBI! Apple wants to make it even harder to hack iPhone

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Apple Security Jacket
This probably wasn't the move the FBI was hoping Apple would make.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple has reportedly started work on creating new security measures for the iPhone that would make it even harder for governments to break into a locked iPhone using the methods being discussed as part of the current San Bernardino court case in California.

There is no word on exactly how Apple plans to approach the problem, but it said to have been working on a solution prior to the recent court case. One possible solution may relate to a new backup strategy for iCloud authentication, which Apple itself would not be able to decrypt.

Like the jailbreakers who constantly find and exploit weaknesses in iOS, before Apple swoops in and closes up the holes, it seems that Apple plans to keep upgrading its own security systems in a game of encryption cat-and-mouse with law enforcement that will make it harder for them to come up with consistent ways to hack the iPhone.

“We are in for an arms race unless and until Congress decides to clarify who has what obligations in situations like this,” said Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at independent policy think tank, the Brookings Institution, told The New York Times. This week, Apple argued that the current iPhone encryption battle should be kicked up to Congress level, instead of being decided by courts.

“For all of those people who want to have a voice but they’re afraid, we are standing up, and we are standing up for our customers because protecting them we view as our job,” Tim Cook told ABC News in an interview aired last night.

If you’ve not been following this case, you can catch up on the fine details of it courtesy of our handy FAQ page here.

Given that the government is already talking about making Apple unlock more iPhones than the one in the San Bernardino case, it seems that this issue is only going to become more urgent.

Source: New York Times and Financial Times