Resized PasscodeTime

Late Monday, Apple filed a brief with a federal magistrate judge in Brooklyn, New York, reiterating its inability to unlock its devices. As it has before, the company told the judge that accessing data stored on a locked device running iOS 8 or later is technically impossible, due to strengthened encryption methods.

“In most cases now and in the future, the government’s requested order would be substantially burdensome, as it would be impossible to perform. For devices running iOS 8 or higher, Apple would not have the technical ability to do what the government requests—take possession of a password protected device from the government and extract unencrypted user data from that device for the government. Among the security features in iOS 8 is a feature that prevents anyone without the device’s passcode from accessing the device’s encrypted data. This includes Apple.”

Judge James Orenstein’s inquiry is the result of a request from the U.S. Justice Department to force Apple to help authorities access a seized iPhone. Earlier this month, Orenstein expressed skepticism about whether he could demand such an act from the company, citing Congress’ failure to act on the issue of encryption.

A hearing is expected Friday.

Apple has substantially beefed up its efforts on user security within the last few years, amidst scandals like the NSA PRISM program and celebrity photo leak. During a speech at a Champions of Freedom event earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said “we believe the customer should be in control of their own information.”

Source: Reuters

  • igobythisname

    Niceeee!!! Tell ’em Apple!

    • lol you actually trust apple? lmao!!!! all of these tech giants probably have backdoors in everything they release and are working with the NSA to watch and steal everyones private info F*Ck that

      • Liggerstuxin

        Nope. But android sells the data.

  • Guito Mendez

    What if your device is below iOS 8? Can they access your data then? Either way, glad Apple is sticking up for their customers.

    • Chris

      iOS 7 introduced some new encryption technologies in which Apple can in theory reverse, to-date, there have being no published cases of it having being successfully achieved.

      If you’re on anything before iOS 7… you might want to think about upgrading.

  • (JailbreakQA) King Shoot

    My 5.1.1 device feels offended now 😛

  • nonchalont

    This is awesome! We don’t need government in our lives. Great job Apple!

  • throttle clutch e brake

    Can’t you restore any obtained iphone (with a PC ofc) which leaves the device open for access after the process?

    • Not if you don’t have the Apple ID info.

    • Tekusbanny

      The restore process needs more ID information to complete
      and as soon as you get connected to a network, someone can track you using find my iphone

  • teris

    And you believe them ? Don’t be so naive .

    • That_Fruitarian

      Show us how to do it otherwise then.

    • Erick Reyes

      Can you unlock my iPhone running iOS 9? No you can’t so shut up

      • teris

        You idiots i dont mean that i can unlock it but the Government.

      • That_Fruitarian

        Can you prove this… Obviously you’re privy to such information?

      • ✯Mike✯

        are you really going to say that just because the government or apple hasn’t shown the public such an act. Retrieving a user’s data from the phone they designed from he ground up seems pretty pheasable to me. you called him naive, but really both sides are naive. we don’t know either way but in my opinion i believe apple can definitely open the hood to a car they built. per say.

      • As someone that has helped build and test cryptography systems in the past, I can tell you that if apple is using a user’s password to encrypt all the data on the phone then the only way to decrypt it is with the password picked by the user. This means you either need to know the password, or you need to be able to brute force attack the phone. Since phones lock for increasing periods of time and potentially wipe all data after 10 attempts, the only way to do this would be to remove the data off the phone and hack it “externally”. However, since apple has built in protection against this approach now too I’d suspect that the reasonable stance at this point would be that apple is telling the truth.

        Furthermore, the only method that could allow a backdoor in this case would be if apple was storing the users password in a readily accessible location in plain text or very weak encryption that could be pulled out. And I would assume that with all the expert programmers in the jailbreaking community pouring over the code every day someone would have found this if it were true.

        Again, even basic knowledge of cryptography should back up apple’s claims. At the very least, they would be easy to put to the test. I think that the burden of proof in this case lies with the people who would try to claim otherwise simply out of mistrust and limited understanding of the subject matter.

        -Cheers

      • Morgan Freeman

        All the government has to do is set up a Stingray and boom, they get your traffic as your device communicates with their fake tower. I’m surprised people aren’t talking about this blatant invasion of privacy. That is one thing people need to be getting pissed off about and demand answers..

      • You can build something that is impenetrable. Safes and vaults for instance. If the maker could easily open then what would be the point?

      • That_Fruitarian

        Exactly where did I call him naive? Have you been following along?

      • spockers™

        Pheasant.

    • Christopher Triffitt

      I totally agree with you I wouldn’t believe the government or Apple no data is perfectly safe there is always a way in

      • Terris2212

        I have spoke with a person from a file sharing service like Dropbox , Box etc. and told that the gov. many times can acces our data which are “password protected” when they need to investigate a suspicious person.And of course they can not deny them. Its like i can eat the chicken but the egg no no i cant touch it. Or do you think that they give you Skype , Viber email services and all that for free just to make you happy ? Please people wake up.

      • Rowan09

        Your password is stored with Dropbox but this is supposedly different because you would need to know the device passcode as well.

  • talkRAYdio

    cook says “we believe the customer should be in control of their own information.”… then walks back to apple and continues to jail phones so that we don’t have access to our own information without their nanny state approval. cook is a lying sack of crap

  • @dongiuj

    I unlock my phone numerous times everyday!…..

    • iDude

      donkey

      • @dongiuj

        Oh I’m sorry serious boy.

    • And I am 100% sure this is a fact! lmao.

  • iDude

    How i wish they could say the same thing with El Capitan.

  • André Le Comte

    Considering that every version of iOS has been jailbroken on every model of supported mobile devices, isn’t it likely that iPhones are much less secure than Apple is implying?

    • Chris

      How would someone in law enforcement use such exploits against a locked phone that’s encrypted?

      The point of this article is about preventing law enforcement agencies from accessing our devices. It’s also about blocking the US government from trying limit which types of encryption algorithms can be used.

      The security Apple are talking about refers to how one gains access to the device, it doesn’t refer to file system and app based exploits.

      • Well said. Heck the Pangu9 jailbreak actually requires you to disable encrypted backups in order for the jailbreak to be performed…

      • André Le Comte

        The number of iOS vulnerabilities that have been exploited and disclosed by public jailbreaks over the past seven years leads me to believe that hackers are also capable of circumventing iPhone passcodes. Jailbreaks execute as iOS boots, so a device can run unsigned code before the lock screen would normally load. If Apple considered it a priority, I suspect their security team and software engineers could certainly access a locked iPhone. They definitely have the necessary resources, development knowledge and experience with patching vulnerabilities. If independent hackers and Apple are capable of unlocking an iPhone without the passcode, then I believe that it is possible that branches of the U.S. government can also.

      • Chris

        You’re missing the point though, since iOS 8 it’s impossible to reverse the encryption on your iDevice. Yes, some people out there may have found ways on older versions of iOS, but the latest releases store the decryption keys directly on the device itself that only your pass code can unlock.

        Even with the release of Pangu 9 it’s impossible to access one’s device since the exploit relies on it being unlocked first, in the past I used a hardware specific memory exploit on my 4S to gain access to my phone again after it got time locked.

        However you look at this situation, encryption is at its strongest and Apple along with Google, Dropbox, Microsoft… the list goes on, won’t allow a single government to determine what’s in the best interests of the consumer.

    • Rowan09

      Even with a jailbreak you need to deactivate iCloud and your pass code, so as Chris said this is not the same security they are referring to.

  • Christopher Triffitt

    What a load of crap no data is safe. Mr cook will report back to big brother like every other company. People are so naive if they think or believe this Artical

  • Rahimo

    Yeaaah BB !! I love u Apple!

  • Pedecia

    And the reason is?? Any proof on your statement?

    • Rowan09

      It was a joke

      • Pedecia

        Ahh ok….

  • DaBruinz

    That’s funny…cvedetails(dot)com reported 55 this year alone on gaining information on iOS…Don’t believe me? Look it up.