Items tagged with FBI

Google has just reported that there were over 40,000 request for user data from the government between June and December 2015. Requests for user data has steadily increased since 2009, however this was the highest number yet. Google admitted that this number was not comprehensive. For example, the same Gmail account may be specified in several different requests for user information. Google also might receive a request for a user for account that does not exist at all.   It believes that these discrepancies do balance out. The statistics do cover all government entities that request user data.... Read more...
The HFS and HFS+ file systems have served Apple well for years, but it’s time to make a clean break from the past. That break from tradition is coming in the form of the Apple File System (APFS), which uses unified encryption to bolster the security of nearly every device that Apple makes. APFS has been in development for far too long to cite the FBI as the reason for its arrival, but we’re sure that the agency is by no means happy about its existence. Apple explains the need for APFS by writing: HFS+ and its predecessor HFS are more than 30 years old. These file systems were developed in an era... Read more...
The FBI is determined to gain access to any and all electronic information from targeted devices whenever it wants, and by any means necessary (as we’ve seen in the drawn-out and very public battle with Apple over encryption). However, many feel that the FBI is really overstepping its authority with an expansion of the National Security Letter (NSL) statute. An amendment to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), which is sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), is set to go before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday, and would expand the FBI’s warrantless vacuuming of user data. Under the... Read more...
The FBI ultimately dropped its suit against Apple involving the now infamous iPhone that was connected to a terrorist in the San Bernardino shooting, but the quest to set a legal precedent marches on. FBI Director James Comey hinted as much when said this week there would be more legal battles over encryption and with regards to forcing tech companies to help law enforcement access data on electronic devices.It's not game over, in other words. Though the FBI ultimately didn't need Apple's help in extracting data from the iPhone 5c model it confiscated from a dead terrorist who had locked the handset... Read more...
The government’s ability to compel you to cough up the contents of your smartphone is growing with each day. Just last week, we reported that the U.S. Supreme Court has granted federal law enforcement agencies the ability to issue search warrants for computing devices in any jurisdiction in the United States; an act that U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said would allow the government to “search thousands or millions of computers at once; and the vast majority of the affected computers would belong to the victims, not the perpetrators, of a cybercrime.” Now, U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia Rosenberg has granted... Read more...
As we’ve seen in the San Bernardino iPhone case, the FBI is willing to go to extreme lengths to retrieve [potentially valuable] personal information for investigative purposes. When Apple wouldn’t comply with FBI requests to unlock the iPhone 5c in that case, the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit. A day before the case was to go to trial, the lawsuit was unexpectedly pulled, as the FBI had found a way to break into the iPhone through the help of a third-party. In the future, the FBI might not have to go through so many hoops to crack large numbers of smartphones and PCs, as the U.S. Supreme... Read more...
For the second time in less than a month, the U.S. government has backed down from attempting to force Apple through a court order to help authorities access the contents of a locked iPhone. This time it was the Justice Department that sought Apple's assistance, willingly or not, with opening an iPhone 5s handset that was seized in 2014 as part of a drug investigation. "Yesterday evening, an individual provided the passcode to the iPhone at issue in this case,’’ prosecutors stated in a letter to the judge. "Late last night, the government used that passcode by hand and gained access to the iPhone.... Read more...
From the get-go, FBI Director James Comey insisted that his agency's attempt to force Apple to crack the security protecting the contents of the iPhone 5c handset that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters was not a ploy to set a precedent. Instead, it was about a debt to the victims, to which he said "we owe them a thorough and professional investigation under the law." Well, the FBI (and taxpayers) ultimately provided one, paying a third-party more than $1.3 million to hack the phone. It's the largest sum for hiring hackers the FBI has ever publicized, coming in over $300,000 above even... Read more...
The situation that played out between the FBI and Apple over a locked iPhone 5c model has been like a Soap Opera with plenty of drama and unexpected twists and turns. In case you thought it was coming to an end, think again—the latest plot twist is that Israeli security outfit Cellebrite supposedly wasn't the one that helped the FBI crack the iPhone in question.Up to this point, there have been several reports saying that Cellebrite helped the FBI extract the contents from the iPhone 5c handset that once belonged to Syed Farook, one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino shooting. There was even... Read more...
The legal battle between Apple and the FBI has been an ongoing saga that has not only caught the attention of the tech press, but also the general public. Today we’ve learned that Apple won’t fight the FBI to gain insight into the tool used to unlock the iPhone 5c at the center of brouhaha. For starters, the tool only works on a “narrow sliver” of devices according to Comey; it’s limited to just the iPhone 5c. In addition, while speaking to reporters today on a briefing call, Apple lawyers indicated that any tool the the FBI has access to would have a “short shelf life.” Apple engineers will undoubtedly... Read more...
Whatever method the Federal Bureau of Investigation used to extract data from the iPhone 5c model that was once in possession of Syed Farook, one of the terrorists involved in the deadly San Bernardino shooting, it appears it will not work for any other generation iPhone. That's if taking FBI director James Comey's comments at face value.Comey was on hand at Kenyon College in Ohio to give a speech on encryption and surveillance. During the talk and subsequent question and answer session, Comey said the U.S. government bought a tool that made it possible to access the iPhone 5c handset in its possession,... Read more...
John McAfee is a lot of things. He's an antivirus pioneer who sold his McAfee antivirus technology to Intel; he's a Libertarian candidate for U.S. president; and he's an eccentric individual with a heck of a story to tell about his escape from Belize where he was a person of interest in a murder investigation. On top of it all, he's supposedly a man with inside knowledge about how the FBI cracked the work-issued iPhone 5c model that was once used by Syed Farook, one of San Bernardino shooters.In an email exchange with Forbes, McAfee said Cellebrite, a subsidiary of Sun Corporation, inked a deal... Read more...
A prosecutor in Arkansas will get an assist from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a murder trial where key pieces of evidence may be contained in a pair of Apple devices. Having just recently thwarted the security on an iPhone 5c that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters, the FBI has agreed to help prosecuting attorney Cody Hiland with breaking into an iPhone and iPod that belonged to the two alleged teenagers assailants.The case involves the killing of Robert and Patricia Cogdell, both murdered at their home in Conway, a town that sits half an hour north of Little Rock. Authorities... Read more...
The FBI dropped its case against Apple yesterday claiming it had extracted the contents of the now infamous iPhone 5c model that belonged to Syed Farook, the terrorist involved in the San Bernardino shooting, with the assistance of a third-party. It's as much a win for Apple as it is for the FBI, though instead of celebrating, Apple released a statement saying the matter should never have went to court to begin with. "From the beginning, we objected to the FBI's demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent. As a result of... Read more...
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