Frederic Jacobs, the man who helped create the secure messaging app Signal, is now on Apple's team. The Mac and iPhone maker hired him in an intern position to work with its CoreOS security team this summer, showing Apple has no intention of backing away from improving the security of its operating systems.
Apple hires security and encryption expert Frederic Jacobs
Mr. Jacobs announced his new gig on Twitter, but didn't say if he'll be with Apple long term. He comes from Open Whisper Systems, which is the company behind Signal—Edward Snowden's favorite messaging app because of its strong encryption.
I'm delighted to announce that I accepted an offer to be working with the CoreOS security team at Apple this summer.— Frederic Jacobs (@FredericJacobs) February 25, 2016
News of Mr. Jacobs' position at Apple comes amid the company's fight to avoid complying with a court order the FBI obtained for a special version of iOS that removes security features designed to prevent brute force attacks on device passcodes. The FBI wants the weaker iPhone operating system so it can break through the passcode on an iPhone that was in the possession of Syed Farook, one of the gun men in last December's San Bernardino mass shooting.
Mr. Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik killed 14 and injured 22 of their San Bernardino County Department of Public Health coworkers in a shooting spree before they were killed by law enforcement officers. FBI officials are hoping to recover more data from the county issued iPhone than Apple was able to obtain.
Apple is fighting the order saying it's a danger to privacy and security, and that the government doesn't have the legal right to force it to create less secure version of iOS. Apple said it's already working on making its software and devices more secure than they already are, and plans to cut out the openings that give it limited access to our data.
Improving security has been an ongoing task for Apple. Thanks to the FBI's demand for a hackable iOS, however, it looks like the company is redoubling its efforts. Instead of finding an easy way into our devices, the FBI seems to have pushed Apple make it even harder to break in.
[Thanks to Wired for the heads up]