Apple has announced that they are not suing the FBI over the recent iPhone hack, and that they are confident that whatever method officials used to gain access will not be a security threat for the majority of iPhone users in the future.
Just last month the Federal Bureau of Investigations revealed that they had been able to gain access to the iPhone used by Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the December terrorist attack that killed 14 people. The FBI has admitted to purchasing a “tool” from a third-party that allowed them to hack into the terrorist’s phone.
The FBI had pursued legal action in order to force Apple to bypass the phone’s security, but the company refused to cooperate, claiming that to do so would compromise the security of all Apple product users. They argued that creating a “back-door” to access any iPhone’s data would mean creating an easy opportunity for malevolent hackers to commit identity theft.
Apple consumers expressed concern that the existence of this tool would put their privacy and security in jeopardy, but FBI director James Comey assured the public that he as a “high degree of confidence that [the creators of the tool] are very good at protecting it, and their motivations align with ours.”
Comey also revealed that the purchased tool could only be effective on a “narrow slice of phones,” which do not include the newest Apple models.
The concern expressed by the public is easily understood, as web-based security attacks have increased 23% since 2013. Identity theft is a very real problem in the world today, and as iPhones become increasingly multi-purpose and thus contain more of our personal information, the higher the stakes become.