Months after Apple and FBI locked horns over providing backdoor access to iOS, the Delhi Police is reportedly in talks with several global IT firms to develop technology that allows it to access encrypted smartphones like iPhones and other mobile devices like BlackBerry.
The technology that Delhi Police is seeking should be reportedly capable of accessing information from cloud services like iCloud and even decoding end-to-end encrypted messengers like WhatsApp, according to a TOI report.
The report also says the department is likely to strike a deal with a company called Encase Forensics for the procurement of digital intelligence forensic workstations. The deal is also said to include email examiners, a tool that “will not only recover deleted emails, but also analyze mails from the content of their headers, subject, body, etc. They can scan through hundreds of email formats. Cyber forensics will assist them in tracing the origin and destinations of the mails,” the report quotes an officer as saying.
Besides retrieving old emails, the police is also looking to access information such as contact lists, messages and calls, deleted social networking posts, messenger text and passwords along with geolocation data among others. The police is also focusing on apps like Foursquare, VK, Kik, Line, Viber and Textie along with travel and cloud storage apps. Moreover, the state police is also providing training to its officers so that they are less dependent on private forensic investigators for solving cybercrimes.
The latest report comes months after the US’ FBI asked Apple to provide a backdoor access to iOS in a bid to hack the iPhone 5c of the San Bernardino shooter. Apple, however, turned down the request.
“The US 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,” Apple said. “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.”
Later, FBI did manage to hack the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone without Apple’s help. The agency reportedly took help from ‘professional hackers’ to access the data.