This is how the FBI wants Apple to backdoor the iPhone

Here are the security mechanisms that the FBI wants Apple to circumvent in order to access data on a terror suspect's iPhone.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Apple CEO Tim Cook has gone public to state that the company will fight the court order that demands it make a custom version of iOS for the FBI in order to access a terror suspect's iPhone.

But what did the FBI want from Apple? That information is buried in the FBI's request for technical assistance.

In this document it states:

  • That the iPhone in question is an iPhone 5c (a device which lacks the Touch ID and Secure Enclave security features). This is known in the document as the "SUBJECT DEVICE".
  • The FBI wants Apple to create code - which the document refers to as Software Image File or "SIF" - that it can load into the iPhone's RAM without modifying any of the data already stored on the flash memory, including "the iOS on the actual phone, the user data partition or system partition."
  • The FBI wants the SIF to be coded with "a unique identifier of the phone so that the SIF would only load and execute on the SUBJECT DEVICE."
  • The FBI want the SIF loaded onto the iPhone "at either a government facility, or alternatively, at an Apple facility." If it is done at an Apple facility, then "Apple shall provide the government with remote access to the SUBJECT DEVICE through a computer allowed the government to conduct passcode recovery analysis."
  • This SIF needs to do three things:
    - Bypass or disable the auto-erase function in iOS which wipes devices after the incorrect passcode has been entered ten times,
    - allow the FBI to enter passcodes electronically, and
    - remove the delay feature that the iOS sets between incorrect passcode attempts.

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