How Did The FBI Crack The iPhone's Code?

How Did The FBI Crack The iPhone's Code?

The FBI paid $1.3 million for this hack, but one associate researcher cracks the code with less than $100.

Since the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hacked the iPhone from the San Bernardino shooting, several security specialists have weighed in with their hack suggestions. According to The Daily Dot, as revealed by a Las Vegas computer security conference survey, 52 percent of cyber-security experts confirmed that they would be willing to help the FBI for paycheck of $1 million to $50 million and beyond. Contrarily so, one out of every four respondents also agreed with Apple's refusal to comply with the FBI's request.

However, as it turns out, the FBI paid the the third-party hacker $1.3 million for cracking a code that University of Cambridge's associate researcher Dr. Sergi Skorobogatov can solve with less than $100 using NAND mirroring.

So, how does NAND mirroring work?

First, Skorobogatov removed the NAND chip from the iPhone 5C, which is a tense process on its own. Then, he cracked the memory system's communication routes in order to clone the chips that would allow him to try out as many passcodes as possible, reported BBC.

As Vice News explains, it takes 90 seconds to complete each set of six guesses, which totals to 10,000 combinations tested over a period of 41 hours. Cracking a four-digit code results in around 40 hours of work, but finding a six-digit code may take hundreds of hours.

"The process does not require any expensive and sophisticated equipment. All needed parts are low cost and were obtained from local electronics distributors," Skorobogatov said in his paper and explained in his YouTube video.

The NAND mirroring method can successfully crack passcodes of older iPhones up to the iPhone 6, but with the use of advanced hardware, Skorobogatov believes the same method may work for the iPhone 6s and even the brand new iPhone 7.

In April, the FBI claimed they were unaware of any alternative methods to cracking the iPhone, but by March, they had dropped their lawsuit against Apple. Three major news networks responded by collectively suing the FBI for hacking details. Hopefully this can explore the broader, more serious issues at hand, like what this means for Apple's security features – specifically, the encryption of user data.

The debut of the iPhone 7 intitially raised a chorus of complaints at the lack of a headphones jack, but as users have come to realize, this makes the iPhone 7 all but impossible to physically hack. To strengthen their virtual frontier as well, Apple incorporated the hyper-encrypted iOS 10. The FBI's iPhone 5 passcode crack provoked Apple to take drastic measures in ensuring their customers a guarantee of privacy. If people no longer trust Apple's security system, they would be highly unlikely to use Apple's new services, such as the iCloud Keychain, which stores user passwords and credit card information into the smartphone, comments The Sacramento Bee.

To reinstate their credibility as a lauded tech company, Apple security expert Ivan Krstic presented a primer of iOS 10's features at the BlackHat USA hacker conference in Las Vegas. Craig Federighi, a senior vice president of software engineering, also assured fellow developers that Apple "is committed to the highest level of encryption."

But this still leaves the main question up in the air: when and where will Congress draw the line between the FBI's national security concerns and Apple's privacy rights?

Cover Image Credit: Cool Mom Tech

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!


What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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My Phone Stopped Working And Now I Feel Lost

Never have I felt so out of place.


I always think to myself what did I do before I had my phone. How did I entertain myself or what did I do? Well on Tuesday I found out when my phone stopped working. While I was internally freaking out I realized this was a time that I could spend doing other things. Then five minutes later I threw my phone on the passenger's seat in my car for not working. I knew that the next day I would have to take it to my carrier store to have it reset but I thought of a similar experience three years ago. When school started my phone would not work and I had to walk around campus without listening to music or seeing what was going on in my friends' lives.

I had to notice what was around me but it also opened my eyes to how much I use my phone. Fast forward to today when walking back to my car both me and my fraternity brother spent the entire time without phones just talking and later that night when I was with my friends I was not as concerned about what they were doing on their phones and just enjoying their company. I realize now that it is ok to go one day without your phone even if you lose all your Snapchat streaks.

Growing up at my camp we would always have to give our phones up at the beginning of the summer. The goal of this was to open our eyes to our surroundings and focus on our friendships rather than the screens we see every day. As I went on to become a counselor and division head more campers got smartphones and apps and people were more scared of losing something they had made with their phones. I had campers who told me they would give their usernames on Snapchat to their friends to keep their streaks. While I am proud of my streaks I am not that concerned with them like my campers. Yes, it does stink that my phone stopped working and I can't listen to music on my walk back to my apartment but it allows me to just have time to myself.

It is interesting to think how much I use my phone in a daily routine. After finishing homework I would watch Netflix on my phone before going to bed but now I know that is not possible and I feel a void. I have never had a problem talking to people without my phone but I have had problems talking to people while they are more interested in their phone. Yes, it does stink that I can not tell my friends to come to meet me somewhere or that I have to carry my laptop around and hope for wi-fi (I did that sophomore year but that's another story) but losing my phone has taught me not to be so dependent on materials.

After a long day of not having a phone, I bought the cheapest smartphone I could find to help me out for the time being. It is terrible but I can do what I need to do on their except call my parents so let's see how long this lasts.

In the months between seeing my brothers, they have noticed a change in me. While I used to be on my phone a lot now I try not to use it as much or only at certain times. There are times I feel dependent on my phone but I do not want that to be the case. Technology should not define me but rather I should define myself.

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