Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Apple Tells Judge Even They Can't Unlock Its New Phones

lock2.png

In what sounds like a challenge for the world's most ambitious hackers, Apple has stated that the encrypted data on newer iPhones can't be accessed by anyone - even by Apple themselves.

The comment was made at a recent US court hearing, in which the US Department of Justice had requested Apple help prosecutors open a seized iPhone. The presiding judge asked for Apple's input on the case - but the tech company replied that 90 per cent of any of its devices running iOS 8 or iOS 9 cannot be unlocked. 

The device in question is running an older version of Apple's mobile operating system, which could be unlocked, but the company are refusing to do so. 

"Forcing Apple to extract data in this case, absent clear legal authority to do so, could threaten the trust between Apple and its customers and substantially tarnish the Apple brand," the company said in its briefing to the judge - essentially a big, fat metaphorical middle finger until the legal power that be forced them to unlock the device.

Lock

So why is it apparently impossible to unlock an iPhone running iOS 8 (or newer)? Apple chief executive Tim Cook recently took to the stage of Wall Street Journal's WSJDLive conference to explain that they had left no "back doors" in the operating system's encryption software - so they couldn't help security services if they even wanted to (which they don't). 

"We think encryption is a must in today's world. No-one should have to decide privacy or security," said Cook. "We should be smart enough to do both."

The only way to unlock new phones is to have the user reveal their unique encryption key (or PIN, if you don't talk tech), or capture them using snoop software installed on the phone remotely - something that the UK government are looking to legalise for the likes of GCHQ and British spies.

So - if you're rocking iOS 7 and fear having your device unlocked by Apple or someone malicious, you might want to consider updating to the new iOS 9. Because, privacy.

Related

youtube2.png

YouTube To Take On Spotify With Music App & Subscription Service

one.jpg

HTC's New Phone Looks Remarkably Like The iPhone

usb2.jpg

This Tiny USB Stick Can Kill A Laptop In Seconds

6s.png

20 Best Smartphones For Any Budget

0.1.jpg

12 Extravagant Pieces Of Kitchen Kit You Need In Your Life

earphones.jpg

Hackers Can Use Radio Waves To Access Your Phone Via Siri

Comments

More

New app will rebalance the London rental market in favour of landlords

Finally, the capital's hard-up property owners will get their due with Rentberry

by Tom Mendelsohn
26 Apr 2017

This knife-toting robot playing stabby hand will make you nervous

I for one welcome our new robot overlords

by Tom Mendelsohn
25 Apr 2017

Now you can turn your iPhone into a retro mac

For the man who has everything

by Tom Mendelsohn
21 Apr 2017

The best turntables of 2017

How the tables have turned

by David Cornish
20 Apr 2017

The Tamagotchi is back

Great news for fans of neglecting responsibilities and watching tiny creatures literally shit themselves to death!

by Emily Reynolds
11 Apr 2017

Self-healing smartphone screens could exist by 2020

Could it be curtains for shady smartphone repair stalls across Britain?

by Tom Mendelsohn
05 Apr 2017

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is being released in less than a month

This is the Korean giant's first major new release since all that embarrassment with exploding Galaxy Note S7s...

by Tom Mendelsohn
29 Mar 2017

Someone's built a robot that prints and burns all of Trump's tweets

Robo-lighter knows what's up

by Gary Ogden
29 Mar 2017

Apple has patented a new laptop chassis which is powered by your phone

Is this the future of laptops?

by Dave Fawbert
27 Mar 2017

Amazon's new Alexa update means it can bring you beer in two hours

"Alexa, we're going to need more booze"

by Matt Tate
21 Mar 2017