Connect with us

Technology

Cracked iPhone: Should You be Worried?

Published

on

inside apple company

The US government’s declaration that it has “successfully accessed the data stored on [San Bernardino gunman] Farook’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires” assistance from Apple, ends a six week-long legal clash between the tech firm and the FBI.

But it leaves the issue at the heart of the dispute unresolved: could the FBI have forced Apple to help it unlock the device?

It is unlikely that this will be the last time a law enforcement agency tries to compel a tech company to help bypass security measures.

What are the implications for other cases?

It had been reported that there were about a dozen other cases in which the US Justice Department was pursuing court orders to force Apple to help its investigators.

The highest profile of these was in Brooklyn, New York, where the FBI wanted access to an iPhone belonging to a defendant who had already pleaded guilty to drug dealing.

In that case, a federal judge had rejected the DoJ’s effort to invoke the All Writs Act – a three-centuries-old statute that allows court orders to be issued in circumstances where other laws don’t apply.

The DoJ had launched an appeal, but it is not yet clear if it will continue or drop it. Its decision may be based on whether the technique used to extract data from Farook’s handset can be used in other cases.

The New York case involved an iPhone 5S running the iOS 7 operating system, while the San Bernardino, California case was about an iPhone 5C running the more modern iOS 9. What works against one device might not work against the other.
But assuming the US government will at some point try again to use the All Writs Act to force Apple or some other tech company to circumvent its data protection measures, it may take a Supreme Court ruling to determine whether this is truly within the authorities’ power.

Is there any way to find out how Farook’s iPhone was cracked?

At this point, there is nothing to compel the FBI to reveal how it was done, although Apple is likely to be pressing hard to find out.

The tech firm’s lawyers have already said they would want details of the technique to be made public if evidence from the cracked iPhone is later used at trial.

But it could remain secret. There is scope within US law for the authorities to withhold the source of information if it was supplied to them on a confidential basis, and to protect sensitive intelligence-gathering methodologies.

Should I assume the US authorities can now easily work out any iPhone’s passcode?

Not necessarily.
The court order originally obtained by the FBI had instructed Apple to come up with a special version of its operating system that would have prevented Farook’s iPhone from deleting its data or imposing long lockout periods if too many incorrect passcode guesses were made.

However, the latest court filings do not say that someone else has now done this, but merely that some data stored on the device has been obtained.

Researchers at the cybersecurity firm IOActive had proposed that one way of getting data off an iPhone would be to “de-cap” its memory chips.

The process they described involved using acid and lasers to expose and copy ID information about the device so that efforts to crack its passcode could be simulated on another computer without risk of triggering the original iPhone’s self-destruct tool.

If indeed this is what happened, it is not easy and there’s a high risk of causing so much damage to the phone that the desired data becomes irretrievable.

By contrast, Cellebrite – a data forensics firm that has reportedly helped the FBI with the case – has previously discussed “bypassing” passcode locks rather than trying to deduce the number.

But it is possible that doing this would yield access to only a limited amount of a handset’s data.

One other point is that Apple recently updated its iOS software.

Each upgrade adds security fixes. So, if the FBI has indeed been alerted to a flaw in Farook’s phone’s security settings, that bug may no longer exist in devices that have installed iOS 9.3.

Is there any way to ensure no-one else can read the information held on my handset?

Short of destroying the device, perhaps no.
But you can use encryption-enabled apps to digitally scramble data.

The chat tool Wickr Messenger, for instance, lets you set it so that you have to enter a password each time you log back into the app.

Likewise, PQChat requires typing in a five-digit passcode of its own to get access.

So, even if a cracked iPhone did give up the contents of its text messages, emails and WhatsApp chats, the contents of the apps mentioned above should remain safe.

All this presumes, however, that the authorities do not manage to install spyware on your device. If that happens, all bets are off.

What is the situation in the UK?

As part of her efforts to pass the Investigatory Powers Bill, the home secretary Theresa May has said that tech firms wouldn’t have hand over encryption keys or build backdoors into their platforms.

But the law still makes mention of “equipment interference warrants”.

Campaigners at the Electronic Frontier Foundation have warned that these could be used to force Apple and others to insert new code into a device in order to help the authorities extract data, in a similar manner to the FBI’s earlier order.

The EFF adds that “matching gag orders” would prevent the firms from informing their customers or even their own lawyers about the act.

Equipment interference warrants already exist under the UK’s current law.

And for now, the focus of Apple and other tech firms is getting the Investigatory Powers Bill amended to say that in the future the warrants could only be amended with the permission of a judge.

But were there to be a case where the UK police attempted to coerce Apple to override its protective measures, it might still resist – even if the fact never became public.

BBC

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Continue Reading
Comments

Fintech

Financial Inclusion: ZirooPay Targets Deeper Mobile POS Penetration in Nigeria

Nigeria’s retail Point-of-Sale solution provider, ZirooPay has embarked on an aggressive drive to deepen the penetration of its unique mobile POS assets.

Published

on

Omoniyi Olawale

In a bid to boost market share while driving financial inclusion by penetrating the underbanked market through its proprietary mobile POS technology, Nigeria’s retail Point-of-Sale solution provider, ZirooPay has embarked on an aggressive drive to deepen the penetration of its unique mobile POS assets.

Over the next months, ZirooPay hopes to grow its network of mobile POS around Nigeria by adding no fewer than 20,000 mobile POS, on the heels of a successful funding round, which has positioned it to tap into the growing opportunities in Africa’s retail sector.

Recall that ZirooPay is reputed for a patent of a unique and efficient mobile POS technology that enables small businesses to process card payments in real-time, even when there is no internet/data connection, strategically positioning it to drive financial inclusion in a country that has achieved only 63 per cent financial inclusion and 33.6 per cent of broadband penetration.

ZirooPay’s payments solution is fast, simple and reliable, delivering a 95 per cent transaction success rate for POS transactions compared to the industry’s average of 25 – 50 per cent.  The solution leverages its unique and patented internet-free technology, to enable SMEs (across the retail, agency banking, hospitality and services sectors) to process in-person payments, track their sales, and manage their businesses from their mobile devices.

Beyond payments, ZirooPay also provides merchants with automated sales history, sales analytics, and inventory tracking to help them monitor and manage their businesses more efficiently. ZirooPay’s superior transaction success rate and the integrated nature of its service stand it out from the competition.

The payment provider, which started operations in Nigeria in 2019, has organically grown to 15,000 merchants processing over $500m in 10m transactions and looks to replicate this success across Africa.

Speaking recently, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO of ZirooPay, Omoniyi Olawale said this is part of several initiatives aimed at empowering more SMEs to take effective control of their businesses, adding that the firm is committed to deepening access to ZirooPay’s invaluable payment services for all sizes of retail business both in rural and urban centres in Africa.

He explained that innovative payment solutions such as ZirooPay will remain an imperative as wholesale and retail sectors continue to dominate Africa’s contribution to its GDP, even as population growth and rapid urbanisation continue to drive consumption across the continent.

He said, “ZirooPay has set out to build an operating system for retail in Africa by providing solutions that not only drive financial inclusion but also support the payment infrastructure needed for retail to thrive on the continent. Lack of reliable payment technology for the continent remains one of the major challenges that has hindered trade tremendously and ZirooPay Mobile POS solution will address this challenge.”

According to Omoniyi, while it is still early days for payments in Africa, ZirooPay understands the peculiarities of the continent’s infrastructure challenges and would continue to advance similar innovative solutions that will address the payment challenge on the continent on a sustainable basis.

Continue Reading

Technology

Nigeria Approves Microsoft Agreement, Others to Accelerate 5G Deployment

In a move to accelerate the deployment of 5G services, the Federal Government has approved Enterprise Licensing Agreement for Microsoft products and clearing up of the C-band spectrum.

Published

on

microsoft - Investorsking

In a move to accelerate the deployment of 5G services, the Federal Government has approved Enterprise Licensing Agreement for Microsoft products and clearing up of the C-band spectrum.

The approval was after Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy presented three memos to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on June 29, 2022.

Femi Adeluyi, the Technical Assistant (Research and Development) to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, disclosed in a statement issued after the approval.

The Government-wide Enterprise Licensing Agreement for Microsoft products will help reduce the cost of information technology projects, while the C-band migration is expected to aid the deployment of the 5G network.

Explaining the benefits of the agreements, Adeluyi said “The Agreement will give the government access to discounted prices and other cost benefits, as well as reduce project duplication across Federal Public Institutions (FPIs).

“It will also guarantee proper technical support for Microsoft products and services, thereby ensuring protection against cybersecurity threats, which will guarantee availability and reliability of government IT services.

“The Enterprise Licensing Agreement will provide a projected savings of a minimum of 35% of Governments current investment in Microsoft Products and Services.

“This will not only substantially reduce the cost of license procurement for FPIs, it will reduce and simplify licensing complexity, facilitate accounting and cash flow predictability and monitor utilisation and impact of Government investment.”

The statement added that the Federal Executive Council has directed all Federal Public Institutions to start taking advantage of the agreement by using Microsoft licenses and services.

Continue Reading

Telecommunications

Nigeria’s Data Consumption Jumps 413.79%

Data consumption in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 413.79% in the last four years, according to the latest data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Published

on

Broadband Penetration - Investors King

Data consumption in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 413.79% in the last four years, according to the latest data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

In the last four years, Nigeria’s internet population grew by 41.38 million while Nigeria’s internet data usage increased to 350,165.39 terabytes in 2021, up from 68,154.12 terabytes in 2018.

During the period under review, broadband penetration rose to 40.88% or 38.12 million users in 2021 from 19.97% or 78.04 million users in January 2018.

NCC data showed GSM internet subscribers grew by 41.39 million from 100.23 million in 2018 to 141.62 million in 2021.

This, experts attributed to growing smartphone penetration and more access to data in Africa’s largest economy.

“Smartphone penetration was up by one percentage point to 33 per cent and our data customer base grew by 14.5 per cent, now representing 34.3 per cent of our total customer base,” Airtel stated in a report.

“Data usage per customer reached 2.6 GB per customer (from 1.8 GB per customer) led by an increase in smartphone penetration and expansion of our home broadband and enterprise customers.

“This helped us grow data revenue 31.2 per cent in constant currency. Growing penetration and usage of 3G and 4G data customers helped us grow data ARPU 8.2 per cent. Fourth Generation data usage more than doubled in the year, contributing 62.2 per cent of total data usage on the network in Q4’21.”

The telecommunication giant further added that “Our improved 4G network contributed to an increase in smartphone penetration, in data customers and in up-take of large data volumes, resulting in greater data consumption per customer.”

Continue Reading




Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending