Apple will apparently unlock encrypted phones for law enforcement agencies (link, link). It’s not clear if there’s a backdoor or not. My suspicion is that Apple is simply relying on a tendency of most people to choose relatively weak/short PINs, coupled with software that will cycle through every possible permutation (brute force). If the phone is on (but in a locked state) I suspect it’s also vulnerable, as the cryptographic/key information will be in memory (though let me stress that I don’t know anything about the implementation specifics here to know for sure).
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