Authorities in Turkey and Russia have reportedly asked Apple for help in unlocking the iPhone 4s owned by the man who recently shot Russia’s ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov It’s a request Apple is likely going to deny, at least if history repeats itself.
The FBI had asked Apple to unlock an iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters, for example, though the company said it wouldn’t provide access and, indeed, argued that it couldn’t even get in if it wanted to.
The FBI eventually sought out other means and was able to enter the device with the help of a third party firm. In this case, it’s two foreign governments asking for help, though it seems they suspect they won’t get help from Apple
MacReports cited a Turkish official who said that Russia “is planning to send a special technical team to Turkey to unlock the iPhone,” given that it’s clear “Apple will not help” the Turkish officials.
A PIN in need of cracking
The Russian team will need to crack the device’s PIN code in order to access the phone, which may or may not be easy depending on the version of iOS the phone is running.
A brute force attack can typically break a PIN rather quickly, but iOS has preventative measures against brute-force attacks built-in that stop the phone from accepting multiple attempts at the code. An older version might have unpatched vulnerabilities that may make it easier to break into, however.
My guess is it won’t take the experts very long.