[Cryptography] Of crypto and the iPhone

Howard Chu hyc at symas.com
Sat Dec 4 03:54:50 EST 2021

Dave Horsfall wrote:
> First, the back-story: the battery in my iPhone finally died; the culprit 
> was the QR scanner which I have to use practically each day :-(  I'll 
> ignore the socio-political implications and just deal with the crypto 
> stuff.
> So, me being me I decided to replace it myself rather than send it to a 
> dealer; seemed easy enough, right?  Quite a number of videos on the 'net 
> explaining the process, step by step.
> Well, in the process I managed to damage one of those flimsy cables that 
> abounded within because the digitiser no longer worked; they are really 
> fragile.
> So, a new screen was called for; no problemo, and they are readily 
> available; this is where the brown stuff hit the fan...  The fingerprint 
> ID was as dead as a dodo (not even being seen by iOS), but the home button 
> still worked; odd, because they share the same cable.
> To cut a long story short, it seems that the screen and body are bonded 
> together like Siamese twins with a cryptographic exchange, making screen 
> replacement all but impossible without arcane incantations and for all I 
> know the sacrifice of a goat.
> So, does anyone have any details of this crypto mechanism?  Not one video 
> mentioned it, and neither did the local Apple dealer; I understand that 
> it's probably not possible to crack, but I'd like to know how it works all 
> the same.
> I insist upon the "right to repair"...

It's been big news in the past week. So yeah, the fact that you can't
just swap screens is known, and supposedly Apple will be pushing firmware
updates in the future to allow it.

> Thanks.
> -- Dave
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  -- Howard Chu
  CTO, Symas Corp.           http://www.symas.com
  Director, Highland Sun     http://highlandsun.com/hyc/
  Chief Architect, OpenLDAP  http://www.openldap.org/project/

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