Ap­ple plans to close iPhone se­cu­rity gap that has been used by law en­force­ment

The Day - - WORLD & NATION -

San Fran­cisco (AP) — Ap­ple is clos­ing a se­cu­rity gap that al­lowed out­siders to pry per­sonal in­for­ma­tion from locked iPhones with­out a pass­word, a change that will thwart law en­force­ment agen­cies that have been ex­ploit­ing the vul­ner­a­bil­ity to col­lect ev­i­dence in crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

The loop­hole will be shut down in a forth­com­ing up­date to Ap­ple’s iOS soft­ware, which pow­ers iPhones.

Once fixed, iPhones will no longer be vul­ner­a­ble to in­tru­sion via the Light­ning port used both to trans­fer data and to charge iPhones. The port will still func­tion af­ter the up­date, but will shut off data an hour af­ter a phone is locked if the cor­rect pass­word isn’t en­tered.

The cur­rent flaw has pro­vided a point of en­try for au­thor­i­ties across the U.S. since the FBI paid an uniden­ti­fied third party in 2016 to un­lock an iPhone used by a killer in the San Bernardino, Calif., mass shoot­ing a few months ear­lier. The FBI sought out­side help af­ter Ap­ple re­buffed the agency’s ef­forts to make the com­pany cre­ate a se­cu­rity back­door into iPhone tech­nol­ogy.

Ap­ple’s re­fusal to co­op­er­ate with the FBI at the time be­came a po­lit­i­cal hot potato pit­ting the rights of its cus­tomers against the broader in­ter­ests of pub­lic safety. While wag­ing his suc­cess­ful 2016 cam­paign, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump ripped Ap­ple for deny­ing FBI ac­cess to the San Bernardino killer’s locked iPhone.

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