Did the FBI Leave a Backdoor In Your iPhone?

Is the FBI hacking into every iPhone?

An unknown person posted a screenshot of (unconfirmed) source code to Github. The screen purportedly shows common OS X boot code. The computer code, written in C, contains a “suspicious” line:

PROFILE_ENTER(“FBI”);

Some people seem to think this allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation to bypass security measures and access locked Apple iPhones, iPads, and computers. But is that right?

Probably not.

The function that line is contained in? It is named find_boot_images().

Let’s try look at that very closely: find_boot_images(). Note the acronym that makes: FBI.

Yep, looks more like logging code that some secret backdoor. And that the “profile” referred to–at this stage of the boot sequence–has nothing to do with an AppleID or user profile. It’s probably referring to code profiling. In fact, given the rest of the code after that statement, it doesn’t make much sense as anything else. Nor does it make sense why Apple would fight against the FBI elsewhere to defend user privacy.

So, looks like there isn’t really a show here!

Update: it looks like Github received a DMCA request, asking that this picture be removed. Which only makes conspiracy theorists more sure of themselves.

Of course, we share this small image under our Fair Use rights of 17 U.S.C. 107, since it comments upon the work and an important public issues, the work consists of a small part of some fairly standard bootloader code, uses only a small bit of the overall work, and this use doesn’t infringe one teensy bit on OS X products and sales.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *