The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump wants Apple to create a back door on an iPhone, while the current New York District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, is spending millions of dollars trying to find other ways to do that by building an e-prison worth $ 10 million .
Cyrus Vance oversees a high-tech cyber laboratory in cooperation with the city’s cybercrime unit, which was explicitly built for a very specific purpose which is to break the encryption of iPhones, by trying to use brute force algorithms to extract data on phones before their owners try to remotely wipe the contents.
The laboratory is equipped with very sophisticated devices and a team of technology experts, many of whom are former military personnel, and the facility itself features a radio-frequency isolation room that prevents remote access to investigation-related iPhones to prevent content scanning.
The entrance to the radio-frequency isolation chamber is strange, as it is protected by two hermetically closed metal doors specially designed to prevent electromagnetic waves. There are dozens of iPhones and iPads in the room of various types of damage, which are evidence confiscated during the alleged crimes.
Inside the electronic prison, there is a giant computer that generates 26 million random passcodes per second, along with a robot that can remove memory chips without using heat, and specialized tools to repair damaged devices to make them work again.
The Prosecutor’s attempts come after Apple decided about five years ago, with the introduction of iOS 8, to encrypt all of its mobile devices, in order to protect consumers, and Google soon followed, making Android devices encrypted.
The result was this ongoing war between law enforcement and technology companies, with prosecutors like Cyrus Vance trying to break the encryption of phones, and Apple and Google raced to stop it.
All iPhones inside the cyber lab are connected to two powerful computers that generate random numbers in an attempt to guess the passcode to access iPhones, and technicians can use other computers in the office and harness unused processing capabilities to create a local giant computer network.
Attempting to guess the passcode sometimes requires passing through tens of thousands of number groups, and workers within the facility try to narrow the odds by using birthdays, important dates, and other information that can be used in each specific case of an iPhone passcode, given that Apple limits the number of times in The minute when you can try the passcode.
The director of the facility, Steven Moran, explains that one of the phones has undergone 10,000 random sequences, and that this was enough to know the four-digit passcode, which contains 10,000 possible combinations, but starting in 2015, Apple started to A six-digit passcode was requested, bringing the total of possible permutations to a million.
There are about 3000 phones in the laboratory, most of which are related to active criminal investigations, which Moran has not yet been able to reach, prompting the team to build a special workflow management program using an open source program, in order to classify the amazing size of the incoming devices and identify the most common cases The importance of phones that could potentially be broken using a third-party solution, as well as providing the Prosecutor with real-time information about each smartphone in its possession.
Prosecutor Cyrus Vance is a major critic of Apple, and has called on the government to introduce anti-encryption legislation to facilitate access by law enforcement officials to iPhones needed for criminal investigations, and according to Vance, 82 percent of smartphones that come to the unit are locked, and a private cyber lab can It has to break the encoder half of it.
Software updates to Apple’s operating system make it more difficult to break into iPhones and make the process more complicated, which could make it impossible to hack an iPhone at the right time. Vans said: The problem with this is time is important to us.
Vance believes it is not fair for Apple and Google to be able to prevent law enforcement officials from accessing smartphones, and believes that there must be a balance between protecting user privacy and achieving justice for crime victims.
Apple argues that it provides iPhone data from iCloud without the need to break the protection of the iPhone itself, but Vance says that the dangerous criminal does not have a backup on iCloud, and he can choose the information that is stored remotely, and smartphones in many cases do not copy Reserve between the time when the crime occurred and turning off the iPhone.
Source : Fastcompany