While Apple Inc. is battling the federal government over demands that it unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino killers, it is reportedly working to make the whole issue moot by developing security that even the company itself can’t get around.
On Wednesday, citing “people close to the company and security experts,” the New York Times reported that the company is developing security systems that would defeat the methods the FBI wants Apple to use to gain access to Syed Farook’s phone.
The method, according to the Times, is that the company currently has access to any phone without a password, a feature that lets it perform technical fixes. The FBI wants to use this company feature as a “backdoor” for its investigative purposes.
In a conference call last week, according to the Times, the company was asked why the iPhone’s firmware (its principal software) can be modified without a password and a company executive said that the security of this would improve.
“Someone close to the company confirmed this week that Apple engineers had begun work on a solution even before the San Bernardino attack,” the Times wrote.