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Apple能搞清楚FBI的破解之法吗?

Apple能搞清楚FBI的破解之法吗?

美国联邦调查局(FBI)已经通过一个身份不明的第三方机构,成功获取了圣伯纳蒂诺袭击者iPhone手机上的数据。对于苹果公司来说,要弄清楚他们是怎么做到的,或许还是有希望的。

而在美国另一端的纽约,苹果公司仍在就是否应帮助司法部获取一个贩毒嫌犯iPhone手机上的数据进行着一场法律战。尽管苹果公司曾希望不予理睬,以免被法院要求帮助司法部获取数据——FBI称这些数据可用来找到一个可疑的贩毒链条上的其他参与者——但现在这可能变成了苹果唯一的一次机会,好查明政府如何“黑”入圣伯纳蒂诺袭击者塞义德•法鲁克所使用的iPhone。

在接下来的两周,美国司法部要确定是否继续公开同苹果的案件。路透社援引了解这项策略的知情人士的话说,若政府决定公开案件,那么苹果可能会请求法院令司法部披露如何解锁了圣伯纳蒂诺袭击者的iPhone。

这种办法困难重重。路透社的消息人士称,首先,司法部需要确定公开其与苹果的案件。第二,苹果公司要进入一场漫长的法庭之争并利用证据开示制度——这是双方通过交换信息可以对案件更多了解的一个阶段——迫使司法部披露如何入侵到法鲁克的iPhone。

该请求是合情合理的。毕竟,如果这种方法在法鲁克的iPhone 5c上奏效,那么,苹果公司可以质疑为什么在纽约毒品案的iPhone(运行的是iOS 7—操作系统的一个旧版本,保护性能不如新的iOS版本)上不奏效。

问题依然是,苹果公司能否真的有这种机会查明司法部是如何获取法鲁克的iPhone数据的。在一个不明身份的第三方联系到FBI称可以以一种技术获取法鲁克数据之后,政府在上周提交的法庭文件中表示希望推迟与苹果在加利福尼亚的案件。之后司法部很快破解了该iPhone,司法部撤销了同苹果的案件,也没说明是如何获取的数据。

与此同时,苹果之前表示,若司法部在没有苹果的帮助下而获取了数据,那么公司要知道用的什么方法。苹果可能会修补漏洞这样的举动无疑会令执法官员不满,这可能也就是司法部为何决定不披露如何破解iPhone的原因。

这些天来,无任何迹象表明FBI要向苹果透露如何破解的手机。苹果别无选择只能希望司法部在纽约毒品案件中仍需要苹果的帮助,然后走法律程序。

这真是世事无常。

就在上周,苹果公司曾希望摆脱纽约案件。总部位于加州丘珀蒂诺的苹果致函地方法院法官马戈•布罗迪,要求推迟案件直到FBI确定能否破解法鲁克的iPhone 5c。苹果在信件中表示,若FBI成功破解,那么纽约案件就不合理,因为使用同样的方法对付纽约的iPhone应该也奏效。

苹果可能说的太快了。假定同样的方法在其他iPhone上奏效,那么司法部几乎无疑会摆脱苹果——就像在圣伯纳蒂诺案中那样。然后,司法部就一直保守着自己的“破解之谜”。

在接下来的几周内,我们将确切知道司法部的下个举动是什么。但是,如果路透社的消息人士没说错,那么,苹果可能希望在纽约打一场持久战,从而可以最终查明iPhone是如何被破解的。

司法部和苹果都未对要求其评论的请求立即作出回应。(财富中文网)

译者:Pessy

审校:詹妮

Apple’s hopes of finding out how the FBI and an unidentified third party accessed data on the San Bernardino attacker’s iPhone are not dashedyet.

On the other side of the country, Appleis still waging a legal battle in New York over whether it should help the Justice Department obtain data on an iPhone owned by an alleged drug dealer. While Apple had hoped to ditch the case and therefore not be asked by the court to help the Justice Department access the data, which the FBI says could be used to find other participants in a possible drug ring, it now might be one of Apple’s only chances of finding out how the government hacked the iPhone used by San Bernardino attacker Syed Farook.

Within the next two weeks, the Justice Department needs to determine whether or not to keep open its case with Apple. If the government decides to keep the case open, Apple could petition the court to force the Justice Department to reveal how it unlocked the San Bernardino iPhone, Reuters isreporting, citing a source with knowledge of the strategy.

The technique would be difficult, at best. First, the Justice Department would need to decide to keep its case with Apple open. Second, Apple would need to enter into a lengthy court battle and use discovery—a phase during which both sides can learn more about the case by exchanging information—to compel the Justice Department to reveal how it cracked Farook’s iPhone, the Reuters source says.

The request would be legitimate. After all, if the method worked on Farook’s iPhone 5c, Apple could question why it wouldn’t work on the iPhone in the New York case, which is running iOS 7—an older version of the operating system that didn’t have the same protections as newer iOS versions.

Questions remain over whether Apple will actually get the chance to find out how the Justice Department accessed data on the Farook’s iPhone. The government said in a court filing last week that it wanted to postpone its case with Apple in California after an unidentified third-party had approached the FBI with a technique that could access Farook’s data. Soon after the Justice Department cracked the iPhone, it nixed its case with Apple and has not said how it gained access.

Apple, meanwhile, has said previously that if the Justice Department accessed the data without its help, it would ask for the method. The tech giant would likely respond by patching the hole. Such a move would undoubtedly anger law enforcement officials, which is potentially why the Justice Department decided against revealing how it cracked the iPhone.

As the days continue on, there are no signs of the FBI revealing to Apple how it cracked the handset. Apple could have no other choice but to hope that the Justice Department still needs its help in the New York drug case and go through the legal paces there.

How quickly things can change.

Just last week, Apple had hoped to get out of the New York case. The Cupertino, Calif.-headquartered company issued a letter to District Court Judge Margo Brodie asking for a delay in the case until the FBI could determine if it could hack Farook’s iPhone 5c. Apple argued in that letter at the time that if the FBI was successful, the New York case would no longer be legitimate because the same method should work with iPhone there.

Apple might have spoken too quickly. Assuming the same method works with other iPhones, the Justice Department will almost undoubtedly give Apple its wish and let it off the hook—just as it did in San Bernardino. And along the way, it’ll keep its secret to itself.

We’ll know for sure what the Justice Department’s next move is in the next couple of weeks. But if theReuters sources are correct, Apple could be hoping for a protracted court battle in New York so it can finally find out how its iPhone was cracked.

Neither the Justice Department nor Apple immediately responded to a request for comment.

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