Backdoor: What is it and why should I care?

You may have heard the term "backdoor in encryption." Below we will explain what it is, and why it is one of the most topical issues in the world of technology. Of course we will mention how it can affect the devices we use every day.

Most of the systems we use today have some form of encryption. You must perform some authentication to decrypt a device. For example, if your phone is locked, you will need to use a password, a fingerprint, or face recognition feature to access your applications and data.


These encryption systems generally do an excellent job of protecting our personal data. Even if someone steals your device, they will not be able to access your data unless they know your password. In addition, most phones can delete the data they contain remotely, or automatically if someone tries to unlock it unsuccessfully.

Here comes the backdoor which is a built-in way to bypass this kind of encryption.

It essentially allows a manufacturer to access all the data of each device it creates. This is not new, as we know from "chip Clipper”Used by the intelligence services in the early 90s.

Note that many alternatives can be used as a backdoor. It could be a hidden aspect of an operating system, an external tool that acts as a key to any device, or a piece of code that creates a vulnerability in the software.

In 2015, backdoors in encryption became the subject of intense global debate when Apple and the FBI were involved in a legal dispute. Through a series of court orders, the FBI wanted to force Apple to open an iPhone of a terrorist who had been killed. Apple refused to develop the necessary software to unlock the device, but the FBI collaborated with a hacking company that had a tool (GrayKey) to bypass encryption.

The debate continued between technology companies and the US government, and almost every major technology company in the United States. (Google, Facebook and Amazon) supported Apple's decision.

Most tech companies do not want a backdoor for the government and argue that this makes devices and systems generally less secure because there is already a vulnerability in the system.

Of course, according to the US government, only the manufacturer and the government will know how to access the backdoor. Of course, this is not entirely safe, because hackers and malicious users will at some point be able to find out. So systems and devices from all over the world will be at risk of data leakage, with very bad consequences for the owners.

Another question that concerns experts is whether the US government manages to get a backdoor, the governments of other countries would not ask for it either;

What follows will probably not be so acceptable. Systems containing backdoors will increase the number and scale of cybercrime. Such as He wrote Bruce Schneier in The New York Times, the backdoor method leaves exposed infrastructure that manages large utilities to foreign and domestic threats.

Of course, this also comes at a cost to the privacy of each of us. A backdoor in encryption in the hands of the government will allow the control of the personal data of every citizen at any time without his consent.

Since I have nothing to hide, why should I care about privacy?

On the other hand, governments that support a door to encryption argue that data should not be inaccessible to public security law enforcement. Some investigations into murders and thefts have been delayed because authorities did not have access to locked phones.

The information stored on a smartphone, such as calendars, contacts, messages and call history, is data that the authorities need for the police investigation.

And the debate continues

Creating backdoors on systems remains a very important policy debate. Lawmakers often point out that what they are really looking for is a "front door" that will allow them to request decryption under certain conditions.

However, a front door in encryption or a backdoor is the same. Both involve creating a vulnerability to access a device.

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