Tim Cook: iPhone backdoor for the FBI would be the ‘software equivalent of cancer’

The Apple boss has hardened his stance against US authorities...

Tim Cook: iPhone backdoor for the FBI would be the ‘software equivalent of cancer’

Luca Bruno / AP

Apple CEO Tim Cook has hit back at FBI demands for the company to unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino killer Syed Rizwan Farook.

"I don't think that something so important to this country should be handled in this way" the tech leader told ABC.

He said that the company was made aware of the request through media reports.

The BBC reports that it has been contacted by sources who refute this claim, and say that Apple's legal team had been "the first to know."

The chief executive reiterated his objections saying, "The protection of people's data is incredibly important. And so the trade-off here is we know that doing this could expose people to incredible vulnerabilities."

In his most strongly worded criticism of the FBI, he said that installing a backdoor to access the information of individual iPhone users would be the 'software equivalent of cancer.'

When asked if he was worried that the company's actions would hinder investigations to stop future attacks he said, "Some things are hard and some things are right. And some things are both. This is one of those things."

The New York Times reports that Apple has begun developing a security update for its devices which would make it impossible to install the kind of backdoor which the FBI has requested.

Tim Cook has argued that creating backdoors in encrypted networks creates a backdoor for "everyone." He said that accessing user information would "undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect."