Items tagged with FBI

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...
For the time being, Apple no longer has to defend its position in court refusing to assist the FBI with breaking into the iPhone 5c model that belonged to one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino shooting. That's because the Justice Department asked that the case be dropped today, saying it was able to break into the iPhone and retrieve the data it was after without Apple's assistance. The filing derails what would have been an historic ruling over whether or not the U.S. government can force companies like Apple to defeat their own security measures in certain situations. Apple chose to fight... Read more...
A much anticipated court hearing to decide whether or not Apple should be forced to assist the Federal Bureau of Investigation with unlocking an iPhone 5c model that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters will have to wait for another day. That's because the FBI said it may have found a way to break into the deceased terrorist's iPhone without Apple's assistance, so the hearing was delayed. The FBI didn't disclose any details, other than saying it was receiving help from a third-party, though speculation on the web is that it involves copying the contents of the iPhone's NAND flash memory.A... Read more...
Tired of reading about the FBI and Apple trading blows over an encrypted iPhone yet?  Well relief may be in sight.  This evening, the FBI filed a request to delay Tuesday's court hearing on the matter, and now that request has been accepted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym. Why has the FBI suddenly changed course?  According to the brief, the FBI has not stopped working on trying to access the data on Syed Farook's government issued iPhone 5C.  They state that an "outside party" demonstrated a possible method for unlocking the phone on Sunday, March 20th, sparking this about... Read more...
It's been a little over a month since a federal judge ordered Apple to break the encryption on a San Bernardino terrorist's iPhone, and to call those ~30 days "action-packed" would be an understatement. Just earlier, we learned that the FBI isn't even concerned about contradicting itself: it argues for improved vehicle security at the same time it wants to cripple the iPhone's security. Now, we learn of another interesting development: if the FBI is successful in forcing Apple to sculpt an OS around its rules, or introduce a backdoor at all into iOS, engineers are going to walk. The New York Times... Read more...
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