Worried about the Feds, or anyone else, cracking your iPhone?
There’s an easy solution: a longer passcode.
An article on Quartz.com says iPhones allow a passcode to be tried 750 times a minute. The old phones had a four-digit numerical passcode, which meant there were only 10,000 possible combinations. But the new phones use any combination of letters, numbers and other characters.
The longer and more complex the code, the more time it takes to crack. On the current phones, a four-number passcode takes 13 minutes to crack; six numbers - 22 hours; six lowercase letters, 41 weeks; six lowercase numbers and letters, 5.5 years.
This week a federal judge ordered Apple to help the government unlock the iPhone of a suspect in an attack that killed 14 people in California last year. Apple says it will fight the order. But published reports suggest Apple may have already cooperated with the government 70 times, and the current fight has more to do with public relations than protecting privacy.
Meanwhile, a passcode and encryption have prevented investigators from unlocking the iPhone of murder victim Brittney Mills. Investigators believe the murderer was probably someone Mills knew. But without the pass code, investigators cannot access Mills’ information. Investigators have tried codes suggested by Mills’ family, but iPhones allow users to enable a setting that erases all the phone’s data after 10 attempts so those guesses have been limited.