Secure Enclave Stories March 29

AAPL: 107.68

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See italicised updates below, with statements from both the Department of Justice and Apple.

The battle between the FBI and Apple over accessing a work phone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists started as headline news and ended in a rather anti-climactic fashion.

The high-profile congressional hearing was due to be followed by a big showdown in court. Instead, the FBI asked that the hearing be vacated, and later quietly announced that it had, with help, managed to gain access to the phone. Nothing to see here, move along.

But while this particular case may be settled, it’s extremely unlikely that this will be the end of the matter – for two reasons …

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Secure Enclave Stories February 5

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The Guardian reports that Apple has acknowledged growing complaints that third-party repairs to the Touch ID home button of an iPhone 6 can brick the device when iOS is updated, and that it is a deliberate security feature.

There have been growing reports of an ‘error 53‘ following an iOS update to an iPhone 6, leaving the phone dead. A Guardian freelancer was one of those affected.

Freelance photographer and self-confessed Apple addict Antonio Olmos says this happened to his phone a few weeks ago after he upgraded his software. Olmos had previously had his handset repaired while on an assignment for the Guardian in Macedonia […]

He says he thought no more about it, until he was sent the standard notification by Apple inviting him to install the latest software. He accepted the upgrade, but within seconds the phone was displaying “error 53” and was, in effect, dead. When Olmos […] took it to an Apple store in London, staff told him there was nothing they could do, and that his phone was now junk … 

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Secure Enclave Stories February 26, 2014

In the latest release of its iOS Security document spotted by TechCrunch, Apple offers a number of details about the function and processes of the Touch ID fingerprint recognition system offered on its iPhone 5s. The document describes the Secure Enclave, “a coprocessor fabricated in the Apple A7 chip,” which manages safely matching active fingerprints read by Touch ID against registered fingerprints saved by the user. While much of how Touch ID behaves was revealed last fall when the iPhone 5s was introduced and through experience, the white page does list more specifics than have previously been made available…

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