FBI unable to crack San Bernardino jihad killers’ cell phone

ByPamela Geller on February 10, 2016
55 Comments
obama fbi

They can’t even get into this cell phone, and they’re going to keep us safe from future attacks? The ISIS jihadis have outstripped the FBI in encryption technology, and Obama calls them the JV team. The FBI is going for help to the tech industry, when it should have the very best, cutting-edge decoding technology. But it doesn’t, because the Obama administration is committed to the idea that we’re not in a war, and refuses to acknowledge either the enemy ideology or its capabilities.

ht_malik_farook_airport_BUGGED_BG_lf_151206_4x3_992

“​FBI unable to crack San Bernardino killers’ cell phone,” CBS, February 9, 2016:

WASHINGTON — FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday one of the phones used by the killers in the San Bernardino, California, attacks remains inaccessible to investigators more than two months after 14 people were fatally shot.

Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey cited the case as an example of how encryption is affecting counterterrorism efforts. But he said the dilemma of bad guys “going dark” is mostly affecting state and local law enforcement officials who are trying to solve murder, drug and car accident cases.

Companies are increasingly making devices such as cellphones with encryption that allows only the people communicating to read the messages.

Comey said it’s a big problem when law enforcement armed with a search warrant can’t open a phone, even when a judge says there’s probable cause to have it opened.

The December 2 shooting left 14 people dead and 22 others wounded….

The White House has called on the tech industry for help in disrupting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other terrorist groups. Investigators say the San Bernardino shooting was inspired by ISIS.

Stay on top of what's really happening. Follow me on Twitter here. Like me on Facebook here.

Print This Post Print This Post

Disclamer

Comments at Atlas Shrugs are unmoderated. Posts using foul language, as well as abusive, hateful, libelous and genocidal posts, will be deleted if seen. However, if a comment remains on the site, it in no way constitutes an endorsement by Pamela Geller of the sentiments contained therein.

  • John Howard

    So you give it to a whitehat hacker group and tell them free Mountain Dew and pizza for as long as it takes to get into it. And THEN you give away an Oculus Rift to the winner.

    • Aaron

      Lol. Perfect.

      What’s nuts about the poor starving “Syrian” “refugee” phones and iPads, is that SOMEONE is paying the bill for them, and there are IP addresses, billing, and you can also trace to the address of whoever the messages are being sent TO.

    • Mahou Shoujo

      That is why it is taking so long, if they didn’t get unlimited free mountain dew and pizza, until they cracked the code, it would be done yesterday.

    • dochood

      The FBI, NSA, DoD, HomeSec, and other government organizations already have teams of thousands of “white hat” (or “gray hat”, depending on your definition) hackers to do precisely this. They don’t NEED access to your encryption keys or a backdoor into your encryption implementation. They will drop a JavaScript Cross-Site Scripting attack on one of your favorite websites, and they will p0wn you in about twenty seconds. But right now, there is a whole lot of paperwork involved in doing that. Wouldn’t it be nice, if they didn’t have to bother with any of that oversight and go through all that work?

      • John Howard

        That’s a priori. The here problem is getting back into a secured device. And no, it wouldn’t be nice if they didn’t have to ‘bother’ with the 4th Amendment.

        • dochood

          You missed the irony / sarcasm there.

  • pdxnag

    Heck, they can’t decode the starkly obvious Koranic calls to kill the Infidel. If they invest 100 percent of their energies on cracking uncrackable messages they can (ha ha) ignore all else.

    • Budvarakbar

      Ah — but Reid and the commies will make sure they crack the Bundys

      • pdxnag

        I don’t think they are trying to hide anything. They are a confused lot. Suppose I tried to Occupy(tm) a Federal Courthouse? This is the qualitative equivalent to the occupation of a remote wildlife refuge, coupled with the twist of excluding others.

  • lee

    No need to worry, the FBI just contacted Anonymous.

  • JEANNIEMAC2

    The real Walter O’Brien is CEO of Scorpion Security Services. The TV show is produced by him. If anyone can hack the cell phone it is him..

    http://www.scorpioncomputerservices.com/the_founder.html

  • chris wolf

    Conspirator in Chief.

    • Dr. Doomsday

      Waffle boy..

  • scocope

    Sometimes these claims of an inability to access encrypted messages are laughable to me. Then I remember who our President is.

  • Dr. Doomsday

    He should just hand it over to his Muslim Brotherhood buddies at CAIR.

  • dochood

    Law
    enforcement is SUPPOSED to be HARD. If it is too easy, they will turn
    it on EVERYBODY (just ask Edward Snowden). They could make it REALLY
    EASY by just installing cameras and microphones in everyone’s houses, or
    just by passing a law that requires that everyone build their houses
    out of transparent glass. If law enforcement is difficult and
    expensive, then they will have to only use it on REAL criminals and
    “terrorists”, not just anyone they suspect or want to slap the label on.
    The government is floating all of these trial balloons because they
    want back-doors in all “secure” products so they can spy on American
    citizens. Clinton tried this with the Skipjack Encryption Algorithm and
    the “Clipper Chip” back in the 1990’s. The idea was that all
    encryption would have been made illegal, except for Skipjack, and all
    keys would be registered with the government. The keys would be split
    in two and kept in “key escrow”, until such time that a court ordered
    that they be brought together to investigate crimes. There are a few
    problems with this notion. 1) Skipjack was hacked pretty quickly, after
    the government spent MILLIONS in research and development (including a
    few thousand on me to run tests on PCMCIA cards for laptops), 2) We’ve
    seen how “open” these courts are (think FISA court), with no
    accountability, and which turn into mere “rubber stamps” for the
    intelligence agencies, 3) if there is a way in for the government,
    HACKERS WILL FIND A WAY IN: hackers from foreign intelligence agencies,
    and from organized crime. Make no mistake… Obama would LOVE to have
    backdoors and key escrow, even though he pays lip-service to secure
    encryption. The whole argument of banning encryption because terrorists
    and pedophiles use it is the same argument that says we need to ban
    guns because criminals use them. Terrorists and pedophiles use a LOT of
    things that every day citizens use… should we ban ALL of them? Cars,
    cell phones, postal mail, USB keys, etc? The government has shown that
    they cannot be trusted with this kind of power, nor can they control it
    so only “the good guys” have it.

    • roger

      This is true, but the problem nowadays is that almost every thing that is to be known about some one is known ( except some individual phone communications ), by commercial third parties through apps (don’t you enter a contract by downloading and using them ) and other legal means. ( some apps state that whole conversations can be transmitted to third parties).

  • ROT_SOLDIER

    Don’t be fooled. The FBI has great technology. The problem is Obama and his people have better technology which is why the FBI cannot crack it.

    • dochood

      If the FBI needs to get into a particular computer RIGHT NOW, they can get a court order to allow them to hack it, either remotely, or by breaking into the property and installing a keystroke logger. This is difficult to do on a large scale, it is expensive, and they obviously can’t do it to everybody. But if they were to force companies to put backdoors in their encryption products, they certainly COULD do it. They would have access to EVERYTHING! And anyone who did not want to open up their entire lives to the government would immediately be made a criminal. Think of it as someone who worked in a dangerous area before all of the concealed carry laws were passed. He either walked around defenseless, or he risked being caught while carrying a weapon to keep himself alive. Criminalizing encryption is the same thing. The government wants to criminalize a morally-neutral act, to make it “easier” on them, and they are using fear as the driving force to do it. I am a software engineer and a cyber security specialist. I can tell you that intentional backdoors violate the security principle of “no security through obscurity”. In other words, you cannot make something secure by attempting to “hide” its weakness. The weakness CAN and WILL be found.

      • wilypagan

        Good points. That is why we are better off profiling those groups most likely to be harboring terrorists and simply banning them from civilized Western countries in the first place. A look at present day Europe is our warning. It is hard to put the genie back into the bottle.

    • Mahou Shoujo

      Right, they have cracked the axis “enigma” code of ww2. Now, about todays issues, perhaps they could put some effort into that.

      • dochood

        The encryption algorithms of today are “uncrackable” with today’s computing power by the “brute force” method (where you guess at every possible key). However, there are many different ways to work around the encryption, such as remote hacking, installing physical keystroke loggers, etc. What the government REALLY wants is COMPLETE, TOTAL ACCESS TO EVERYTHING, with NO BARRIERS. This should scare you far, far more than any “terrorist” should.

        • Mahou Shoujo

          That is a large part of the problem. American democrats, who are controlling the government, have no respect for the Constitution, which is shown by their disrespect for America in preference to islam. It is necessary to have security from a totalitarian democrat administration, even, regrettably when it can be used for nefarious purposes.

        • IzlamIsTyranny

          “This should scare you, far more than any “terrorist” should.” Tell that to the dozen people killed in San Bernardino, CA by muslums, or the 3000 people killed on 9-11 by muslums or the more than a hundred people killed in Paris, France by muslums or the nearly 300 people killed by muslims at an elementary school in Beslan, Russia.

          • dochood

            Show me where ANY of those you mentioned were able to evade law enforcement through the use of encryption, and how that encryption (if they even used it) could not be circumvented by other means other than brute force breaking the code or having a copy of the key. And all of this ignores a fundamental question. How is making non-escrowed encryption illegal going to stop criminals and terrorists from using it? Does making it illegal for the terrorists to use guns to murder people stop the terrorists from using guns?

        • roger

          Yes, I agree, nevertheless there is simply no real effort or will to in trying to stop Islamic terrorism in the west.

  • chris wolf

    One white woman who wishes she would have locked her car doors when she saw obama coming is Hillary Clinton.

  • Mahou Shoujo

    How does the fbi think cracking the encryption codes in cell phones will tell them anything? They cannot read the qur’an, in any one of dozens of translations, which spells out very plainly and repeatedly the message of islam, part of which, is killing infidels, then forcing everyone to submit to islam. Perhaps dealing with the obvious would be a good place to start investigating the problem.

    • IzlamIsTyranny

      Why don’t they just ask the many muslums working at the FIB to help them crack the koran code?

      • Mahou Shoujo

        Yeah, because there is some cryptic message in ” • Hadith 9:4 “Wherever you find infidels kill them; for whoever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection.”

        • Hadith 9:50, 57 “No Umma (a member of Muslim community) should be killed for killing a Kafir (an infidel). . Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him.”

        • roger

          That’s really cryptic, do you think we are taking it out of context ?

          • Mahou Shoujo

            We must be, after all, various prominent blowhards clearly elucidate on numerous occasions that islam is the religion of peace. Need a cryptographer to decode it.

          • roger

            We need a large cubic contextual machine, where you can put clearly stated quotes in one end and get the opposite at the other ( what happens when you put a Muslim on TV.

          • Mahou Shoujo

            The qur’an and its associate lies are designed for obsessive compulsive islamic liars. Every statement, for all practical purposes is contradictory. Cherry picking for muslims is easy, they select whatever lie fits the occasion, then refuse to accept anything other than the qur’an as validation of the story. One either accepts islam’s view on everything, or avoid being drawn into discussion with muslims as they do not discuss, they orate.

          • IzlamIsTyranny

            In muslum states there is nothing to discuss, islam is perfect any deviation from this viewpoint is criminalize.

  • dochood

    https://www.hackread.com/fbi-hacked-tor-to-hunt-paedophiles-on-deep-web/

    This is one example of what they can already do. The government cannot break the TOR network… so they take advantage of weaknesses in the browsers of the targets (and a whole lot of people who weren’t doing anything wrong) by using dragnet attacks to nab ANYBODY who visits a vulnerable website. They didn’t just infect the computers of pedophiles… they infected EVERYONE who used that plugin and visited their trap site, THEN they found their pedophiles! This should scare you. If it doesn’t, you aren’t paying attention, or you are getting all of your “facts” from “CSI: Techno-babble Blather”.

  • JSebastian

    I don’t believe this story. I think its just disinfo – They are probably just saying that, because they don’t want to spook the rest of the cell and network. Remember his mosque has 4000+ members. They probably have a huge active investigation and need these suspects to not drop their comms/routines or destroy evidence until they can make an arrest. That’s how I would do it, if I were running that effort.

  • IzlamIsTyranny

    As the FIB is increasingly infiltrated and subverted by moslems, will they be seeking to stop islamic terrorism? Or facilitate it?

  • wheezer7

    If it’s an iPhone not even Apple can get into it. They tout this in their ads. If both people on a call are using iPhone, the conversation is encrypted end-to-end. Same for the iMessage. If the call/message is to another type of phone it has to broadcast unencrypted.

  • Pray Hard

    I call bullsh*t on this.

  • Rocinante44

    why do we need the Federal Bureau of Islam anymore? they might as well be the KGB for all they do for non-muslim americans

  • Blame Edward Smowden and the aggressive anti American nature of our administration. I can’t believe Comey, et al. Are still collecting pay checks .

  • roger

    Obama should give Netanyahu a call, I’m sure the Israelis could help them.

    • Angel Warrior

      LOL! Exactly what I thought!

    • mariethomson

      Uh huh! I know one of them.

  • JEANNIEMAC2

    http://www.scorpioncomputerservices.com/the_founder.html
    The TV show, “Scorpion” is based loosely on Walter O’Brien, with an IQ of 197.
    Mr. O’Brien founded his Scorpion Computer Services when he was 13. Our government should hire this man’s company to hack that cell phone.
    Mr. O’Brien has said that the government’s computer workings are six years behind the times.

  • Angel Warrior

    The FBI should send the phones to Israel…..they’ll get into them and tell them what is on it!

  • Reagan40

    I won’t be surprised if the Muslims working with obama are in charge of the st Bernardino case. What do you expect? Muslims will do anything to further the cause of Islam. They will kill, cheat, lie, eat pork, shave their beards as long as it furthers the cause of Islam.

  • Drew the Infidel

    Have you hugged your Glock today? Unless you are totally dependent on the government to protect you it may come in handy. It is better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.

  • Thomas Didymus

    Seems like the FBI could crack it’s own phones…

  • drummie

    “The White House has called on the tech industry for help in disrupting
    the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other terrorist groups” Like so many other things, the “White House” says and then does NOTHING. Obama will NOT do anything that might help bring about the end of ISIS and Islamic terror. He is committed to their cause. All the hooplah about air strikes is to make the public believe that he is “protecting” us when in fact they are almost irrelavent.

  • Drew the Infidel

    Q: What did the FBI say when an elephant walked into their office?
    A: Nothing. They never saw it.

  • dochood

    US Encryption Ban Would Only Send the Market Overseas

    Not only would US-made encryption products lose their market, so would cloud-computing, one of the few industries that the US still has a world-wide lead on. The Snowden revelations already cost cloud-computing tens of billions of potential revenue. Forcing key-escrow in the US would finish off cloud-computing for good.

    http://it.slashdot.org/story/16/02/11/1429223/us-encryption-ban-would-only-send-the-market-overseas

  • 1PierreMontagne1

    The San Bernadino Jihadi’s were using Balckberry’s as only the Black Berry’s have unbreakable encryption and was of course favored by all US government employees. Little wonder that the NSA with some help form the US department of the Treasury have all but bankrupted Blackberry.

    Can you imagine how upset “Big Brother” and the NSA are is when they can’t monitor phone conversation especially Government internal phone conversations?
    So BlackBerry had to go and it is still the favored pone in the mid east.

    an Bernardino jihad
    an Bernardino jihad

  • Guy Joudrey

    I think everyone is missing the big picture here. Wasn’t it because of this act of these Muslim extremist TERRORISTS that our representatives that’s called “the Government” , the establishment, is all for taking our constitutional right by taking my Privacy rights and the right to protect myself, I.E. Background check ( prying into MY privacy) yet here are two people that KiLLED 14 innocent American citizens that California state government failed the people that elected their asses to represent “We The People’s” rights by stripping Us of the right to carry protection unless they feel it’s “ok” for me to protect myself??? so, because of our great government that would not allow these law abiding citizens the right to open carry they abided by the law and lost their lives (where was the government that day,,, they were TOO DAM LATE!!!! and because of that our government thinks if they took more of our privacy rights away from the millions of AMERICAN grandmas , grandpas, and ALL law abiding citizens that in some sick way this will prevent another terrorist from killing 14 more unarmed citizens??? Just another prime example of how backwards these DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS think. This is why we are tied up in wars that will never be won because they also tie the hands of our troops. Our Government sends our troops to capture these sick terrorists, then our government release the very terrorists from Gitmo that so many of our great AMERICAN TROOPS LOST THEIR LIVES TO CATCH. ITS ALL BACKWARDS!!!! I am watching an elected government that thinks the less rights I have the safer I am. Do all you people in this country seriously think the less rights YOU have the safer you will be?? UNBELIEVABLE!!! I trust none of them or any of YOU sick in the head citizens that think this way is best and for any true American citizen that thinks by giving your right to protect yourselves and families up and only depending on this backwards thinking government to keep ya safe, you need to have a mental evaluation, Along with the members of the government that think this BS. Wake up sheeple, wake up!!! Then go buy yourself some protection because YOUR fine government will never protect ya. All they want to do is make more laws that take more and more of our rights until we have no rights left. One day we will put our foot down and take our rights back, and have a true American government that works for “We the People” because I think they forgot who they work for!!!!