In the midst of the battle between Apple and the FBI over the unlocking of an iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino killer, the manufacturer is reportedly planning to build uncrackable future iPhones that even Apple cannot hack.
Engineers at the tech firm are believed to be strengthening security by developing new encryption methods for iCloud backups and the iPhone handsets, which is so strong that Apple would not be able to exploit even if it tried.
The idea behind the new levels of security is to stamp out any future situations where law enforcement or governments could demand the Californian company to unlock an individual's iPhone. That is as well as preventing authorities from attempting to unlock the phone themselves, which has been the case with the San Bernardino iPhone leading to a reset of the iCloud password.
The FBI wants Apple to develop software that would allow authorities to have as many tries at guessing the password to an iPhone as they like, rather than the current 10 tries-and-out system that resets the iCloud backup authentication, meaning Apple could not simply use its decryption key to retrieve the iPhone's data.
Apple no longer holds encryption keys
The plan is to take away the encryption keys stored by Apple that could access iCloud accounts of users and instead attach them to the device itself so only the owner could decrypt it with their own private key, rather than Apple being held responsible. How exactly this would be executed has not been detailed as well as what would happen should a user forget their password, as that could lead to them being locked out of their iPhone forever.
With Apple being forced to write new software that will defeat its very own security features to unlock the San Bernardino iPhone, it is now seeing itself as a threat to an Apple customer, which is why the firm wants to create a system where it is removed.
"For all of those people who want to have a voice but they're afraid, we are standing up, and we are standing up for our customers because protecting them we view as our job," said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a recent television interview.
While the FBI is arguing that it is not asking Apple to create a skeleton key to open the backdoor for every iPhone, Cook has hit back by saying the government is making the firm create "something we do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create", hinting that in the wrong hands this code could be a hacker's dream. Or as security legend John McAfee put it: "Like giving our enemies the keys to our nuclear weapons."