April 5, 2016 — It appears that the FBI has found a way to retrieve data from the iPhone of the deceased terrorist, Syed Farook, without the cooperation of Apple.
I have penned a missive about this in a recent post, stating my position. My belief is that Apple should have cooperated with the FBI. I reiterate that only so the reader knows where I am coming from.
I am not surprised that the FBI found other resources to accomplish opening up the phone. The company rumored to do that is called Cellebrite, in conjunction with another company, Rook Security, which had come up with a way to copy the flash memory of the cellphone, supposedly even after it has been erased. Then Cellebrite is supposed to be able to unlock it without fear of destroying the critical data.
But what is interesting is that, as it turns out, Cellebrite supplies the machines that are inside Apple’s retail stores. These devices are used by Apple sales reps who use it to transfer contact lists and other content from an old phone to a just purchased iPhone.
So, that really got my ire up against Apple and Tim Cook. Originally, I took the positon that the data should have been uncovered since it might be crucial evidence in a very heinous crime. Their argument that this would, forever, open the door to all kinds of maleficent players; that such players can unleash all kinds of debauchery because millions of phone’s security will be breached, was nonsense. The fact that is was done by a third party, and only for that phone, speaks for itself.
If all this is true, this slugfest between Apple and the FBI was just a big con game on Apples part. Apple could have, very easily, cooperated with the FBI. And one has to assume that the Cellebrite machines don’t invalidate any universal Apple security protocols. So, was Apple afraid that if the pubic found out about this, their security posturing would be just one big farce?
To be perfectly honest, I have never been a big fan of Apple. And I used to teach Mac troubleshooting classes and do Mac training. They have always been an arrogant company, doing what they want, with little regard for the common advancement of computer technology. Perhaps that is why they barely have six percent of the PC market, and perhaps that is why they play so strongly in the smartphone market – it is the only market they can compete in.
Anyway, Apple got served. Now they are crying to the FBI to find out how they did it. Well, Tim Cook, you got arrogant again and it backfired on you. Perhaps it is time for Apple to drop its pretension and eat a piece of humble pie – and do what the rest of the players do.