Apple now faces a legal battle vs the FBI concerning the ongoing investigation of the iPhone unit carried by the San Bernardino attackers. The company refused to cooperate with the authorities in assisting to unlock the encrypted mobile phone and some of the company?s engineers even threatened to quit their job.
According to a report by 9to5Mac, there has already been an internal discussion among the engineers. Some employees would rather quit their high-paying jobs than undermine the software security that they have painstakingly formulated. This statement is from more than half a dozen past and present Apple employees.
Another question arises from all this controversy. What if Syed Rizwan Farook, the San Bernardino gunman, had used an Android device?
Recode writes that in the future, an Android device might be involved in these acts of terror as four out of five people use Google?s mobile operating system worldwide. If Google were in the hot seat, Android chief Hiroshi Lockheimer said that he thinks that they ?would feel the exact same way.? However, the situation would certainly be a lot different considering Android?s extensive handset market.
Recode further analyzes how a situation like this would unfold if the attacker had used an Android device and it will depend on which kind of Android phone because there are just too many. The report also recalls what the government wants from Apple, which is data not backed up on iCloud.
Unlike Android, the Apple software uses full encryption, which means that the security system saves the security pass codes onto the device and only on the device, which means that the owner of the phone is the only one who knows the encryption lock. Apple does not store any of that kind of data. ?
Now, what FBI wants is for Apple to make an OS specifically designed to crack the passcode of the phone. In a report by New York Times, the company is said to have been helping authorities in obtaining court-ordered data saved in the cloud if it was deemed legitimate by the company?s lawyers, but the FBI?s most recent request went against their principles.
Going back to the Google encryption, Android?s security chief Adrian Ludwig said, ?Google has no ability to facilitate unlocking any device that has been protected with a PIN, Password, or fingerprint. This is the case whether or not the device is encrypted, and for all versions of Android.?
However, this is contrary to a report that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance had written last November that Google can ?reset passcodes? on some Android devices that do not have full encryption, Recode reports. This can also be done remotely, which gives access to forensic examiners to see the contents of a device.
The problem with Google, the report continues, is that we have no idea how many Android phones are fully encrypted and Google has no idea either. Only 1.3 percent of Android devices use the most up-to-date Marshmallow software. For those running the Lollipop software on their device, activating the full encryption is optional.