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Tim Cook’s refusal to help FBI hack iPhone is validated by ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack

Last Friday’s ransomware attack was a scary situation, as the virus infiltrated over 200,000 computers across 150 different countries in less than 24 hours, including the UK’s National Health Service. It also brought an event from the past back into the spotlight – Tim Cook’s refusal to help the FBI hack the iPhone of the San Bernardino terrorists.

As a quick recap, one of the terrorists responsible for the December 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, used an iPhone 5C, which was recovered by the FBI. Apple’s iOS security can be set to wipe a device clean after 10 failed attempts at entering the passcode. The FBI requested (demanded, really) that Apple create a new version of iOS just for them that didn’t have this security, so that they could run a brute-force attack on the iPhone until they cracked the passcode.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, refused. User security is important to Apple, and to the people who use their products, and they didn’t accept that there was a way to keep this new “FBI edition” from falling into the wrong hands. It was a huge argument that resulted in a very divided spectrum of people, with some hailing Apple as the only defenders of consumer privacy, and others saying they were just as guilty as the terrorists.

And then, WannaCry struck. And in case you weren’t aware, it was based on an NSA (that’s the government, just like the FBI) exploit that obviously fell into the wrong hands.

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