Even though Apple is much opposed to opening up their software to federal authorities and the police to assist in cases of terrorism (as in the San Bernardino slaughter in 2015) and other criminal offenses, a startup in Atlanta (Grayshift, LLC) has developed a $15,000. device, called GrayKey, that appears able to do the trick – the FBI wound up paying $1 million in 2015 to get the San Bernardino terrorists’ iPhone unlocked – so, the GrayKey device is very reasonable by those standards!
Apple, of course, plans to retaliate against the GrayKey by changing their software to limit the window of opportunity for police to use the GrayKey to 60 minutes. Seems impossible for the police to meet those standards – and let’s remind ourselves that it’s the police wanting access that we’re talking about. For the majority of iPhone users, a demand by police to unlock their devices would never be made! So, I fail to understand the “dilemma” that Apple is supposedly facing. It’s said that there’s a punch-counter-punch gong on between Grayshift and Apple – Grayshift plans on upgrades of their own and will deliver new iPhone cracking methods to GrayKey users via software updates. The company is developing the new methods with the assistance of accomplished iPhone hackers, including at least one former member of Apple’s security team. While other companies offer ways to hack into iPhones, Grayshift has become popular with U.S.law enforcement because of its low cost as well as its effectiveness and ease of use. In one State’s local county, prosecutors have used the GrayKey 30 times in the past month to extract emails, texts, contact lists and other data that previously had been nearly impossible to obtain from iPhones. As a result, the police were able to crack homicide, armed-robery, rape and other criminal cases. I’d say that Apple is on the wrong side of the law in this instance. But, then, when have California/Seattle “Silicon Valley-type” tech companies been known to be favoring the conservative aims of the country and its law enforcement efforts?