Indian scientists have developed forensic tools to hack iPhones says Telecom Minister

FBI’s court case to force Apple to hack San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5c gathered so much storm that it was headline news for most part of April. The court case divided the world and United States in particular, into two lobbies. One for unlocking the shooters iPhone to help in the investigations and other group, predominantly consisting of privacy and civil liberty activists, against the hacking.

While this was happening, FBI quietly got the shooter’s iPhone 5c hacked through grey hat hackers by paying $1.3 million. On the other hand, Los Angeles Police Department managed to hack iPhone 5s without any hiccups or dominating the news.

While all this news has been making headlines, it seems India already has technology to hack iPhones. The country’s telecom minister stated in the parliament that Indian authorities have the forensic tools to hack into ‘Apple phones’, though he did not specify which.

“Smartphones including phones by Apple employ strong encryption to secure the data stored and to protect the communication. Such Encryption technologies pose challenges to Law Enforcement Agencies throughout the world including India,” telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a reply to the Rajya Sabha.

Prasad went on to tell the parliament that R&D in India has developed a tool for mobile forensics, “which handles smartphones including Apple phones.”

As said above, the minister did not exactly clarify which “Apple phones” or operating system the Indian scientists developed forensics tool apparently works on. It may be noted that the matters submitted before the parliament are not hearsay and are backed by proof. The minister’s assertion in the Indian parliament implies that the Indian scientists have somehow found ways and means to unlock the iPhone including its security codes.

The telecom minister categorically denied that the Indian government wants to introduce a backdoor or key for smartphone encryption.