A year ago the FBI was pushing to force Apple into making a hackable version of iOS for a terrorist investigation while claiming the code would stay secure. Now Cellebrite—the company the FBI reportedly hired to break through the iPhone’s encryption—has been hacked, validating Apple’s concerns the tools would eventually leak.
The Congressional Encryption Working Group (EWG) released a year-end report this week stating specifically that, “strong encryption is essential to both individual privacy and national security.” This leaves Bryan Chaffin with hope, even though the report contained a few mixed messages.
Apple has a new support document encouraging customers to verify encrypted emails, especially security emails from Apple. The document includes Apple’s own public PGP key for those verifications. Apple noted that its current PGP key will be valid until May of 2018. PGP, or “pretty good privacy” is one of the most popular encryption schemes in general use today, through both the PGP Corporation and the open source GnuPGP. Apple posted links to both. You can subscribe to Apple’s Security-announce emails at Apple’s website.
The Congressional Encryption Working Group has issued a year-end report on encryption that finds weakening encryption would harm the national security interests of the United States. Bryan and Jeff discuss the implications, as well as a new request from the Turkish government asking Apple to unlock an iPhone 4s owned by an assassin. They cap the show with a preview of CES expectations.
Apple’s encryption debate isn’t over yet. Several days ago, a man assassinated the Russian ambassador to Turkey before turning the gun on himself. Now, Russian and Turkish authorities have asked Apple to unlock the shooter’s iPhone 4s.
The end of the year is a good time to think through your security practices and especially what types of passwords you use (and how you store them). In today’s Quick Tip, Melissa Holt will walk us through a few of her favorite ways you can stay safe, both online and at home.
If you need to send a PDF with sensitive information on it through email, then encrypt it first! Please? OK, so calling someone to give him a password isn’t the most convenient thing on earth, but it’s better than having your data compromised. Especially if said data is your social security number. Come on in to read Melissa Holt’s Quick Tip on how to protect your PDFs!
The UK police got unlocked access to a suspect’s iPhone but, unlike the FBI earlier this year, they didn’t have to ask Apple to hack it. Interestingly, though, the FBI did something very similar to the UK police a few years ago. Listen to hear more. Then it’s on to how Apple might just be our last hope to save the integrity of the internet. John Martellaro explains!
Forget backdoors and lawsuits. Police in the UK have come up with an interesting solution to Apple’s strong iOS encryption: they simply waited for the suspect to unlock his device and then snatched it right out of his hands.
Astonishingly, Apple creates unnecessary problems for itself. Locked in the old era, modern Apple executive thinking continues to focus on drama while excising important elements of its vision. That leads to pain, criticism, and disaffection with Apple. It wouldn’t be hard to avoid all that these days. John explains.
An intriguing chip has been discovered in the teardown of the iPhone 7. We know that it’s a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), but we don’t know what it’s intended to do. Speculation abounds. John has a SWAG.
The FBI’s fight for government mandated backdoors into our encrypted data and devices is far from over, and Director James Comey says he plans to bring that back to the forefront next year. Mr. Comey says it’s time for an “adult conversation” on the topic, and that law enforcement needs an easy way to access our private data for criminal investigations.