What I know about computer science could fit into a thimble — so I delved deeper into various arguments concerning the FBI vs. Apple. Apple has helped the government extract data before. This time it’s different. The government says Apple has helped it extract data from iPhones roughly 70 times in the past, but Apple has never done what a court is ordering it do now: create software to crack its own security features for the FBI.
When I heard it was Farook’s work phone that the FBI wants Apple to break into, I had to laugh. I do not for second believe Farook used his work phone to communicate with his jihad brothers, rather than his own private phone, which he destroyed.
Obama’s FBI has been so dishonest and incompetent, I no longer believe they are being up-front and true in the battle with Apple. They screwed up on Garland, San Bernardino, Fort Hood, etc. Methinks they just want to to be able to break into everyone’s phones. As one reader with expertise in the field pointed out, “if the FBI wants to get the information off the phone, they can ‘read in’ — Apple downloads the data and gives it to the FBI. All the players know this but the FBI want the information on how to break into the Apple encryption. This is wrong. It will open a can of worms.”
There are issues with Apple refusing to hack into their product for the FBI:
1. Apple cannot break into their own encryption on this model phone, and thus cannot obtain the info ordered by the judge, and
2. Apple doesn’t want to change its future encryption architecture for its phones to allow a back door entry, or they will be allowing all hackers to break into everybody’s phones.
If Apple could crack its own encryption procedures for this one phone, I’m sure they would. The reason they have previously opened the encryption on OLDER phones is because the encryption methodology had either a built-in back door, or those older encryption methodologies were not as sophisticated.
I suggest the FBI and the court ask for various phone records, and maybe they can read those from Verizon or whomever.
I think Apple would help with the current cell phone if they could, but I agree, it would really hurt their business if they gave all future encryption keys to the govt. What happens if Bernie or Hillary become president? You will want your unbreakable encryption on your phone.
And while I think Edward Snowden is a traitor, even broken clock is right twice a day:
And here’s Apple’s side:
“Apple says investigators ruined best way to access terrorist data,” CNET, February 20, 2016:
A backup feature might have provided the FBI with a way to access data from the iPhone of a San Bernardino terrorist. But a change to the Apple iCloud password foiled that idea.
According to senior Apple executives on Friday, the FBI might have been able to obtain data from an iPhone 5C belonging to Syed Farook, one of the San Bernardino terrorists, by connecting it to a familiar Wi-Fi network and having it create a new backup on Apple’s iCloud service.
The idea was foiled, the executives say, because the password to the terrorist’s iCloud account was reset shortly after the FBI took possession of the phone. That meant iCloud and the iPhone couldn’t recognize each other, the executives said.
The password reset is the newest wrinkle in the standoff between the government and Apple, which received a court order this week compelling it to create a custom version of its iOS operating system that bypasses security features on the iPhone. Apple rejected the order, saying it will fight the government’s request — all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary — because it means creating a “master key” for all phones that will undermine privacy and security.
On Friday, the Department of Justice derided Apple, writing in a 35-page filing that the company’s refusal to comply with the court “appears to be based on its concern for its business model and public brand marketing strategy.” US presidential hopeful Donald Trump also weighed in, calling for a boycott of the iPhone if Apple doesn’t comply. Meanwhile, tech industry leaders, including the CEOs of Google and Twitter, and privacy advocates, including Edward Snowden, have voiced their support for the company.
Apple already provided the FBI with access to Farook’s iCloud backups through mid-October, when he apparently stopped iCloud to back up the iPhone provided to him by his employers. (Farook and his wife destroyed their personal phones before their attacks.) The data left on the phone is encrypted with 256-bit AES security, the same standard used to protect US government computers. That encryption makes a brute-force attack on the iPhone 5C by the FBI nearly impossible. Such an attack includes trying numerous passwords until the right one is found.
One of the FBI’s key arguments for forcing Apple to unlock the phone is that agents believe Farook intentionally stopped backing up his work phone to Apple’s iCloud service to keep some information secret, according to the February 16, 40-page DOJ request (embedded below) that led to the court order.
In January, while assisting the FBI and the DOJ with the ongoing investigation, Apple engineers suggested a simpler idea than bypassing the iPhone’s passcode security. They recommended that the iPhone be connected to a known Wi-Fi network, such as one in Farook’s home or workplace, and plugged into a power source so it could automatically create a new iCloud backup overnight. If successful, that backup might have contained the missing information between the October backup and December 2, when the San Bernardino massacre occurred.
It wasn’t clear whether the auto-backup idea would work, but the FBI never got the chance to try, Apple said.
The FBI didn’t respond to a request for comment. But the bureau told CBS News on Friday that someone with San Bernardino County (Farook’s employer, which actually owned the phone) remotely reset the password on Farook’s account in the hours after the attack.
In a tweet, San Bernardino County officials confirmed they had changed the password on the iCloud account, saying the FBI had asked them to.
According to senior Apple executives, the password reset meant that someone would need to log in to the phone and enter the new password before it could sync with Apple’s iCloud servers again. That wouldn’t be possible without knowing Farook’s iPhone passcode, which is the very thing the FBI hopes to obtain by compelling Apple to modify its iOS software and bypass its own security features.
In the court order, a federal judge offered Apple the ability to use “an alternate technological means,” if one existed, to provide the FBI with access to Farook’s iPhone data. According to Apple, the auto-backup scheme was the best idea to date.
On Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said company engineers had been advising the FBI and cooperating with the investigation but that the call to rewrite iOS would create a “backdoor” into the iPhone that hackers and malicious governments could use to undermine the privacy and security of all iPhone users. The company on Friday asked for a three-day extension to file its appeal to the court order, and the deadline has reportedly been moved to February 26.
“We have no sympathy for terrorists,” Cook wrote in an open letter to customers explaining Apple’s decision to challenge the court’s order. “But now the government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.”
Social media giants back Apple in dispute with FBI | Fox News
Facebook and Twitter have come out in support of Apple’s decision to fight a court ruling ordering it to unlock an iPhone used by the San Bernardino terrorists.
And weirdly, the NY Times article on this battle, “Apple Fights Order to Unlock San Bernardino Gunman’s iPhone,” removed this whole section concerning China:
As one tweeter pointed out: