The Student Room Group

Boris Johnson ‘can’t remember passcode’ to phone with Covid WhatsApp messages

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Reply 1


More than a little dodgy but great publicity for the phone and WhatsApp. Any dodgy doers now know that their encrypted info is safe.😂😂
:rofl:
Reply 3

Its probably one of his kids birthdays ... but he only has 10 attempts to get it right.
Original post by mqb2766
Its probably one of his kids birthdays ... but he only has 10 attempts to get it right.

I just don't fully buy it given the circumstances
Reply 5
Original post by Talkative Toad
I just don't fully buy it given the circumstances


You could probably put that tag line on most of what Boris does.

People
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/may/19/rebekah-vardys-agent-dropped-phone-in-sea-to-hide-evidence-trial-hears
are very careless their phones when there may (allegedly) be something incriminating on there.
Original post by mqb2766
You could probably put that tag line on most of what Boris does.

People
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/may/19/rebekah-vardys-agent-dropped-phone-in-sea-to-hide-evidence-trial-hears
are very careless their phones when there may (allegedly) be something incriminating on there.


Yeah looks like it, don't blame them for doing this despite it being wrong.
It must be great to be a crooked politician and only have to present evidence whenever you feel like it and to whomever you chose.
Hard to believe that after a lifetime of lying, Boris Johnson would also lie about this.
Cant really say either way.

Fwiw if he did change passcode when he moved phone and hasn’t used it in over 2 years I could accept he thinks he knows possible combinations but can’t be certain on the exact one as a genuine thing, although I can’t be sure.

For me this problem addresses a greater issue which is IF government ministers are going to communicate about operations via web messenger apps then they need to be provided with a secure & encrypted service using private secret service protected UK owned servers.

There should be an official policy that all discussions on whatsapp or other 3rd encrypted services are not allowed for government business.

It’s well known MPs have lots of whatsapp chats, maybe it’s time that if these chats are going to be observed in official enquiries then it should be a clear boundary between what is personal chat & what is government business & have appropriate tools for each one.
(edited 7 months ago)
As Johnson doesn’t even remember how many children he has, I’m prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Original post by Choreomania
As Johnson doesn’t even remember how many children he has, I’m prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.

That's a good point, when you put it that way.
Reply 12
I'd be that there's also no Face ID/Fingerprint code on the phone either - as unlike a passcode, he can be compelled to give these!
Original post by BarnabyK
I'd be that there's also no Face ID/Fingerprint code on the phone either - as unlike a passcode, he can be compelled to give these!


Its worth noting after it became public information that his phone details had been accessible online the phone was switched off. When you restart an iPhone you need to initially use your passcode before you can use finger/face ID. So this isn’t a consideration in the circumstances.
(edited 7 months ago)
Reply 14
Original post by mnot
Its worth noting after it became public information that his phone details had been accessible online the phone was switched off. When you restart an iPhone you need to initially use your passcode before you can use finger/face ID. So this isn’t a consideration in the circumstances.

So to anyone who has sensitive information on their phones and the police come a knocking, remember to switch the thing off before you open the door.
(edited 7 months ago)
Original post by Euapp
So to anyone who has sensitive information on their phones and the police come a knocking, remember to switch the thing off before you open the door.


I know apple does have excellent encryption for privacy but id be surprised if they couldn’t find a back door. I suspect another thing is whatsapp itself encryption - i did wonder if they could clone the storage although I don’t know if whatsapp data would then be retrievable, it does seem a very low bar to stumble at for an enquiry focusing on the head of state with a budget nearing £100m.

Although I must admit i hold little confidence in the capabilities of anyone in whitehall or The commons.
Original post by mnot
I know apple does have excellent encryption for privacy but id be surprised if they couldn’t find a back door. I suspect another thing is whatsapp itself encryption - i did wonder if they could clone the storage although I don’t know if whatsapp data would then be retrievable, it does seem a very low bar to stumble at for an enquiry focusing on the head of state with a budget nearing £100m.

Although I must admit i hold little confidence in the capabilities of anyone in whitehall or The commons.


Wasn't there a case a few years ago where Apple steadfast refused to unlock a device for the FBI?
Reply 17
Original post by mnot
I know apple does have excellent encryption for privacy but id be surprised if they couldn’t find a back door. I suspect another thing is whatsapp itself encryption - i did wonder if they could clone the storage although I don’t know if whatsapp data would then be retrievable, it does seem a very low bar to stumble at for an enquiry focusing on the head of state with a budget nearing £100m.

Although I must admit i hold little confidence in the capabilities of anyone in whitehall or The commons.


WhatsApp does have in its advanced settings irretrievable encryption if you don’t have the password.
Original post by mnot
Its worth noting after it became public information that his phone details had been accessible online the phone was switched off. When you restart an iPhone you need to initially use your passcode before you can use finger/face ID. So this isn’t a consideration in the circumstances.


Pretty much the case on any device I think, once you restart it, you must type the passcode as opposed to using finger print or face ID (assuming that you've got a passcode in the first place).
(edited 7 months ago)
Original post by Admit-One
Wasn't there a case a few years ago where Apple steadfast refused to unlock a device for the FBI?


Yes it did, although it led to a bit of mockery as a local US police force paid a hacker to break in to a iphone and got access at around the same time the FBI had this issue.

TBF @Euapp has now raised a pretty important piece of information - if the whatsapp information is irretrievable without password access then until the password is retrieved then it appears the data is beyond reach.

Given the popularity of whatsapp & the digital technical capacity & knowledge we supposedly possess in the UK, how was this issue not preemptively spotted by a relevant department of the state. No doubt no corrective action will occur and the same issue will re-emerge at another enquiry in a few years costing several hundred more million.

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