Apple contre FBI ?


La semaine du 15 au 21 février 2016 sera t-elle historique ? Apple et le FBI nous rejouent la pièce "liberté et securité sont ils compatibles ?" 




La trosième semaine de février 2016 a été marquée par l’injonction émise par la Justice américaine, ordonnant à Apple d'aider le FBI à décrypter le téléphone portable utilisé par l’un des auteurs de l’attentat terroriste de la commune de San Bernardino aux US. Une injonction à laquelle le PDG d’Apple, Tim Cook a ainsi décidé de s’opposer (lire en section BONUS sa réponse) au motif que cette « mesure sans précédent (…) menace la sécurité de nos clients ». Le PDG d’Apple ajoutant  « même si nous pensons que les intentions du FBI sont bonnes, le gouvernement aurait tort de nous obliger à doter nos produits d'une porte dérobée (backdoor) ». 

(Source PR ag. Cymbioz)

Le Gouvernement américain exigence un haut niveau de sécurité pour les terminaux notamment par l’obtention de certifications, mais dans le même l’application de la loi impose que la sécurité de ces terminaux puisse être contournée.

Selon Csaba Krasznay, Responsable du produit Shell Control Box chez Balabit

« Lorsqu’une entreprise a obtenu plusieurs certifications ( notamment Critères Communs (Common Criteria), elle démontre un haut niveau de sécurité. Et à l’évidence, ces certifications imposent qu’il soit impossible de contourner les fonctions de sécurité mises en place. Si un fournisseur fournit des solutions et astuces pour contourner ses propres règles de sécurité, celui-ci doit le stipuler dans un document accessible par le public, sinon il ne peut prétendre à obtenir ces certifications. Le problème est qu’aux Etats-Unis, les certifications telles que FIPS 140-2 ou Critères Communs font parties des exigences essentielles du Gouvernement américain. La situation est donc contradictoire : d’un côté, le Gouvernement américain exige que les terminaux soient hautement sécurisés et d’un autre côté, l’application de la loi exigence que la sécurité de ces terminaux puisse être contournée ». Il précise: « Comment résoudre cette contradiction ? Les autorités policières ont plusieurs moyens pour collecter les preuves et les informations.Le déchiffrement des terminaux mobiles n’est qu’une de leurs options. Même si une « super-clé » pourrait faciliter leur travail, il existe d’autres solutions. Par conséquent, la sécurité intégrée ne devrait pas être touchée, cela dans l’intérêt des utilisateurs, mais également du Gouvernement américain ».



Thoughts from Kevin Bocek, VP of Threat Intelligence and Security Strategy, Venafi:


"In a nutshell, Apple has been requested to break the system of trust used for over 20 years to secure the Internet. This government action, requesting use of Apple certificates, is hijacking, hacking the Internet. It's not about decrypting one device used by a terrorist.


The foundation of cybersecurity on the Internet is certs. If the government gets to use Apple certs, they now control the software that controls much of access for people to software, Internet, and apps. They'll get control and hijack it. 


The significance of the FBI's request and Apple's challenge is not about a single encrypted device used by a terrorist. Instead, it is the breaking of the system of trust certificates provide for all software and on the Internet! The FBI wants Apple to sign software with Apple's certificate that will then run (referred to by FBI as 'signed iPhone Software file'). These are similar tactics used to make Stuxnet run so successfully - signed malware with valid certificates ran completely trusted. Therefore, the FBI's request may set a precedent not about breaking encryption but about breaking software. It's why Tim Cook responded: "The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers." 


The biggest advancement here is the system of trust established by certificates that we know has come under so much interest and attack by cybercriminals. Software runs the world and knowing what is trusted or not, friend or foe, is the role of certificates whether it's TLS or code-signing. Apple's signed software would not only become a targeted weapon but it would also be another blueprint-maker for bad guys' attack playbook, much like Stuxnet did 6 years ago.


So what does this mean for Global 5000 enterprises? I'd say knowing what keys and certificates you trust, and protecting those keys and certificate you use is that much more important in a time when they are increasingly of interest to governments and the target of bad guys.


Apple's quick and veracious response to the FBI is in stark contrast to another important security issue that impacted all users of smartphone and computers worldwide. The Chinese CNNIC certificate authority, an entity of the Chinese government that controls the 'Great Firewall of China' used to monitor citizen behavior online, was trusted by all Microsoft, Apple, and Google browsers, computers, smartphones, and tablets. CNNIC was implicated in an incident in Egypt to impersonate Google - an attempt that Google and Mozilla swiftly responded to and permanently untrusted CNNIC. However, Apple and Microsoft, with tens of billions of dollars in revenue from the Chinese market per quarter on the line, failed to take any action for months. Apple quietly decided to trust some of CNNIC certificates while Microsoft took no action. The incident was not covered widely by the media as the FBI's request. Unfortunately, in the case of CNNIC and unlike now, Apple was neither swift nor public in its response, leaving all the appearances of prioritizing Chinese profits over the security and privacy of all iPhone, iPad, and Mac users worldwide. It's a welcome change to see Apple respond so quickly to the FBI's request and hopefully they would do the same to incidents involving Chinese authorities in the future too."




A Message to Our Customers

The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand. 

This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake.

The Need for Encryption

Smartphones, led by iPhone, have become an essential part of our lives. People use them to store an incredible amount of personal information, from our private conversations to our photos, our music, our notes, our calendars and contacts, our financial information and health data, even where we have been and where we are going.

All that information needs to be protected from hackers and criminals who want to access it, steal it, and use it without our knowledge or permission. Customers expect Apple and other technology companies to do everything in our power to protect their personal information, and at Apple we are deeply committed to safeguarding their data.

Compromising the security of our personal information can ultimately put our personal safety at risk. That is why encryption has become so important to all of us.

For many years, we have used encryption to protect our customers’ personal data because we believe it’s the only way to keep their information safe. We have even put that data out of our own reach, because we believe the contents of your iPhone are none of our business.

The San Bernardino Case

We were shocked and outraged by the deadly act of terrorism in San Bernardino last December. We mourn the loss of life and want justice for all those whose lives were affected. The FBI asked us for help in the days following the attack, and we have worked hard to support the government’s efforts to solve this horrible crime. We have no sympathy for terrorists.

When the FBI has requested data that’s in our possession, we have provided it. Apple complies with valid subpoenas and search warrants, as we have in the San Bernardino case. We have also made Apple engineers available to advise the FBI, and we’ve offered our best ideas on a number of investigative options at their disposal.

We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good. Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.

Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.

The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.

The Threat to Data Security

Some would argue that building a backdoor for just one iPhone is a simple, clean-cut solution. But it ignores both the basics of digital security and the significance of what the government is demanding in this case.

In today’s digital world, the “key” to an encrypted system is a piece of information that unlocks the data, and it is only as secure as the protections around it. Once the information is known, or a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge.

The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.

The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.

We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack. For years, cryptologists and national security experts have been warning against weakening encryption. Doing so would hurt only the well-meaning and law-abiding citizens who rely on companies like Apple to protect their data. Criminals and bad actors will still encrypt, using tools that are readily available to them.

A Dangerous Precedent

Rather than asking for legislative action through Congress, the FBI is proposing an unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority.

The government would have us remove security features and add new capabilities to the operating system, allowing a passcode to be input electronically. This would make it easier to unlock an iPhone by “brute force,” trying thousands or millions of combinations with the speed of a modern computer.

The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.

Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.

We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.

While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.

Tim Cook


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