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.
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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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25 Responses To Your Friend Who Doesn't Text Back

Omg thanks for responding so quickly...oh, wait.
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We all have that friend. That friend we love to death, but if we are sure of anything in this world, it’s that they will not respond to your text because they suck at texting. That moment when you see “Read 1:04 p.m.” and you’re like “and???? Helloooooooo!”

These are 25 responses for that dear friend.

1. Lol thanks for tagging me in that FB post, now text me tf back.


2. OMG, wait you met Chris Hemsworth and he’s professing his love to you??!! No? Okay, then you can def text me back.

3. Hey I’m coming to help you since you obviously broke your thumbs and can’t respond.

4. Lolol thanks for responding. I’ll just continue the conversation with myself. That’s cool.

5. Good chat.

6. Yeah I wouldn’t know how to respond either, pizza topping selection is a thought-provoking process. Take your time. Meditate on it.

7. The classic: ^^^^^^^^^


8. I hope you’re writing me the 8th Harry Potter novel.

9. That was a yes or no question. This isn’t difficult. You wouldn’t do well with ‘Sophie’s Choice.’

10. Omg, did you pass out from the excitement of getting a text from me? Totally understandable. Text me when you regain consciousness, love.

11. Omg what a witty and clever response. Nothing. So philosophical.

12. The only excuse I’ll accept is if you’re eating guac and don’t want to get it on your phone. Because avocados are life.

13. I love it when you do that adorable thing when you don’t text me back for hours. So cute.


14. Okay I’ll answer for you. Yes, you’re going out tonight. Glad we had this convo.

15. In the time it has taken you to respond, dinosaurs could have retaken the earth.

16. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

17. The dramatic but also very valid response: That’s what happens when you don’t respond for 30 minutes. People die.


18. I apologize for asking if you were coming to watch Bachelor, clearly the decision has caused you serious reflection on your priorities. I’m sorry to have caused you this existential crisis.

19. Sorry I annoyed you with my friendship. But like plz respond…

20. Your response time is longer than Ross and Rachel’s entire relationship. 10 seasons. You couldn’t text me back for 10 seasons?!!

21. Wait. You’re responding too fast. I can’t keep up. Hang on. Don’t respond so quickly. Jeez.

22. A subtle but perfectly placed gif. What will you go with? The classic eye roll perhaps or maybe a “you suck.”


23. Did you fall off a cliff? Wait, you don’t exercise. Pause your Netflix and respond b*tch.

24. Omg I WON THE LOTTERY. *responds* Lol now you respond…

25. And my personal favorite and go to, Did you text me and then decide to THROW YOUR PHONE ACROSS THE OCEAN?! Lol swim fast, I need an answer.

Cover Image Credit: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8289/7759302068_fac2dfd31d_b.jpg

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What Your Laptop Stickers Say About Your Personality

We all know that the saddest day is when you notice your laptop doesn't have room for more stickers.

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While walking around a college campus, you see a lot of things. One thing that stands out about college students is that they all seem to stroll around sporting laptops that have a variety of stickers on them. Based on your personality, the stickers on your laptop can say a lot about you. Here's a list of the type of person you are based on the type of stickers you put on your laptop.

1. Organized stickers

If you are someone who has their laptop stickers arranged perfectly even and lined up, it probably means that you are an organized person in your life as well. You like to keep your work area, car and bedroom super clean, and you're probably one of those people who writes things on their to-do list just so they can cross them off. When you're in class, you have the nicest handwritten notes, and are likely to color code all of your assignments in highlighters. You are the person we all aspire to be.

2. Unorganized stickers

If you are anything like me, you probably didn't put any thought into where your stickers went on your computer. You probably scanned the surface for a few seconds, shrugged and thought to yourself, "Eh, I'll just plop it right here" without a second thought. Your stickers are most likely overlapping and somehow, your laptop actually looks good. You're probably a creative person with a lot of ideas that you just can't keep track of because your mind goes a mile a minute. Even though most people think you're messy and all over the place, you always seem to get things done when they need to be done. So what? A little bit of organized chaos never hurt anyone.

3. TV show stickers

After watching "The Office" for the fourteenth time on Netflix, you finally decide to get a sticker to commemorate all of the good times you've had watching your favorite show. Besides being a dorky, funny, lighthearted person, you're also the person who gets sad every time they finish a series because they legitimately felt they were part of the show. Don't worry, we've all been there before.

4. Cheesy quote stickers

You know exactly the type of stickers I'm talking about - the ones that say things like "Good things take time" or "Look on the bright side" in that fancy calligraphy lettering that we all wish we could do. Even though they are indeed cheesy, these stickers are some of the cutest ones around and show that you have an optimistic spirit. People with cheesy quote stickers are the type of people I want to talk to in class and become fast friends with because they are the type of people who hype you up when you need that extra little nudge.

5. Dog stickers

You miss your favorite furry friend(s) from back home and you want everyone to know it. Every time you see dog stickers, you nearly shed a tear thinking about all of the good times you've had over the years with your own dog(s). It's likely that you have your dog(s) as your computer or phone background, and FaceTime your mom every day to see your furry friends (don't worry, we won't tell your mom that these phone calls aren't for her). You have crazy dog parent written all over you, which is honestly the best label to have.

6. Food stickers

If you have food stickers on your laptop, you're like me - always hungry. What better way to represent this than to have a sticker of pizza on your laptop for everyone to see? At any given moment you could eat a cow. You're also the type of person who has an extreme amount of confidence because you don't care what other people think about you. Oh, and you probably leave pizza grease all over your keyboard or cracker crumbs in the cracks of your computer. Saving it for later though, am I right?

7. Political stickers

You are a very opinionated person who knows what they want and is willing to stand up for what they believe in, despite what other people might think. You know that people see your stickers and judge you, but frankly, you don't care. You get into arguments on Twitter and Facebook over current events and you are fiercely loyal to your beliefs. Overall, you are an independent person who cares a tremendous amount about the people and things in your life.

8. Alcohol stickers

You like to party and want everyone to know it. These types of stickers are typically bottles of wine or ones that say things like "rosé all day." You're probably the most basic person ever, and you talk about how you can't wait for pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks and how you got so wasted at wine Wednesday last week right before your exam. If you see someone with a vodka or tequila sticker on their laptop, turn the other way. You really don't need to hear how they go from party to party on the weekends as if that's something unusual for a college student.

9. School stickers

You've got school spirit and you know you chose the right place to go to college. You attend your dream school and you are so proud to show everyone around that you bleed green (or red or blue or purple or whatever - it's all irrelevant if you don't go to Michigan State, the best school ever). You probably watch hype videos for football season and get chills, and sing yourself to sleep at night with the fight song. You live for Saturdays and tailgate season, and Tom Izzo and Mark Dantonio are your idols.

10. Only a few stickers

You're simple and you probably just hopped on the laptop sticker trend. You didn't want to buy too many stickers for fear that they wouldn't look good together or there wouldn't be enough room, but you greatly underestimated the amount of space you have. You aren't addicted to stickers now, but soon enough you'll be on Red Bubble checking out your cart with 27 stickers trying to impossibly narrow it down to 3 because there just isn't enough room for all of them.

11. No stickers

You don't care enough to buy stickers. That's an extra however many dollars that you have to buy something you need, like books, a calculator or food. Only the necessities for you - no need to go above and beyond when it really doesn't matter to you. That's one less thing you need to worry about, and you are already busy enough without the extra added stress that comes naturally for most people. Being you is complicated, but you just might have it all figured out.

12. A little bit of everything

You're kind of basic, kind of dorky, kind of funny and kind of out there - but hey, that's okay. You're a wild person who can fit in with anyone you meet and you have the ability to bring a smile to the faces of many. Your quirky personality stands out and you're sort of a happy-go-lucky person. Being able to go with the flow is your greatest quality, and you talk a lot. And by a lot, I mean that in elementary school, your teacher probably always checked the box on your report card that said "Talks too much in class," and/or "Distracts others in class." There is nothing wrong with that; keep up the laid-back lifestyle.

All in all, laptop stickers are a really neat way to express yourself and show your peers what makes you, you. If you haven't hopped on the laptop sticker bandwagon yet, your time is surely coming.

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