This week BBC news reported that Apple would not help the FBI bypass the pin on one of their phones
The FBI have apparently asked Apple to create two assistive technologies :
“Firstly, it wants the company to alter Farook’s iPhone so that investigators can make unlimited attempts at the passcode without the risk of erasing the data.
Secondly, it wants Apple to help implement a way to rapidly try different passcode combinations, to save tapping in each one manually.”
Ignoring who is right or wrong in this matter – these are not uncommon requests – I’ve been asked by various governments and “three letter agencies” in the past to do exactly the same thing, which I too have politely declined.
Reading between the lines, the FBI requests would indicate an admission that the actual cryptography within the iPhone is robust and correctly implemented – and that there are no discovered back doors which would allow the FBI access to the data without Apple’s help.
So we can assume that the FBI cannot usually access data stored on iPhones. What help can Apple give?