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What is a backdoor encryption?

What is a backdoor encryption?

Most systems used by consumers today have a form of encryption. To overcome this, you must provide a form of authentication. For example, if the phone is locked, you must use a password, fingerprint, or facial recognition to access your applications and data.

These systems generally do an excellent job of protecting your personal data. Even if someone picks up your phone, they won’t be able to access your information unless they find out your password. Also, most phones can erase their storage space or become unusable for a while if someone tries to force them to unlock them.

A back door is a built-in way to bypass this type of encryption. Basically, it allows the manufacturer to access all the data on any device it creates. And it’s nothing new, this goes back to » Clipper chip «abandoned the early 1990s.

Many things can serve as a back door. It can be a hidden aspect of the operating system, an external tool that acts as a key for each device, or a piece of code that creates a software vulnerability.

In 2015, backdoor encryption became the subject of a heated global debate when Apple and the FBI joined forces. he became involved in a legal battle. Through a series of court orders, the FBI forced Apple to decrypt an iPhone that belonged to a dead terrorist. Apple refused to create the necessary software and a hearing was scheduled. However, the FBI turned to a third party ( GreyKey ), which used a security hole to avoid encryption and the case was abandoned.

The debate continued among technology and public sector companies. When the case first appeared, almost all major US technology companies (including Google, Facebook and Amazon) supported Apple’s decision.

Most tech giants don’t want the government to force them to create a crypto backdoor. They argue that a backdoor makes devices and systems significantly less secure because you design the system with a vulnerability.

While only the producer and the government would know how to access the back door at first, hackers and malicious actors would eventually find out. Soon after service will be available to many people. And if the US government uses the back door method, would governments in other countries also receive it?

This creates some terrifying possibilities. Backdoor systems are likely to increase the number and scale of cybercrime, from targeting state-owned devices and networks to creating a black market for illegal exploitation. As Bruce Schneier wrote in New York Times, it also opens up potential critical infrastructure systems that manage key public services for internal and external threats.

Of course, it also has a cost of privacy. An encrypted backdoor in the hands of the government allows them to view at any time the personal data of any citizen without their consent.

An argument for a back door

Government and law enforcement agencies that want a backdoor encryption argue that data should not be inaccessible to law enforcement and security agencies. Some homicide and robbery investigations have been stopped because police were unable to access the blocked phones.

Information stored on a smartphone, such as calendars, contacts, messages, and call logs, are all things a police department might have a legal right to search with a warrant. The FBI said it is facing a challenge to » darkness «As more data and devices become inaccessible.

The debate continues

Whether companies should create a back door in their systems remains an important political debate. Lawmakers and public officials often point out that what they really want is a «gateway» that allows them to request decryption in specific circumstances.

However, an encrypted front door and a back door are almost the same. Both still involve creating an exploit to grant access to a device.

Until an official decision is issued, this issue may continue to come to the fore.