The fight between Apple and the FBI over unlocking an iPhone continues. Now, Apple’s VP for software engineering, Craig Federighi, has spoken out, warning that legal arguments overlook the fact that criminals — as well as tech companies — continue to innovate. In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, he writes that his “team must work tirelessly to stay one step ahead of criminal attackers who seek to pry into personal information and even co-opt devices to commit broader assaults that endanger us all”. That’s why, he explains:
[I]t’s so disappointing that the FBI, Justice Department and others in law enforcement are pressing us to turn back the clock to a less-secure time and less-secure technologies. They have suggested that the safeguards of iOS 7 were good enough and that we should simply go back to the security standards of 2013. But the security of iOS 7, while cutting-edge at the time, has since been breached by hackers. What’s worse, some of their methods have been productized and are now available for sale to attackers who are less skilled but often more malicious.
He admits that even Apple engineers make mistakes in their code, creating points of weakness that can be exploited. But adds that “identifying and fixing those problems are critical parts of our mission to keep customers safe. Doing anything to hamper that mission would be a serious mistake.”