Items tagged with FBI

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 with the FBI nearly three years ago to provide forensic analysis of mobile devices, including smartphones... 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 believe 18-year-old Hunter Drexler and 15-year-old Justin Staton, the latter of which the Cogdell... 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 the government's dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought,"... 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 an initial court order to assist the FBI do exactly that, arguing that building what it considers... 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 forensic scientist named Jonathan Zdziarski, or "NerveGas" as he's known among hackers, described... 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 face.  The FBI has previously stated that they have exhausted all other known options. This... 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 reports that "more than" half a dozen engineers would leave their high-paying jobs at Apple to avoid... Read more...
Alanis Morissette famously sang about there being rain on your wedding day and ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife. She also belted out many other examples of irony, though if she's in need of a new verse, she may want to consider the FBI's public service announcement about the need to beef up security in today's Internet connected cars while simultaneously taking Apple to court in an attempt to weaken iPhone security. Okay, maybe that's not being entirely fair, but it's hard not to see the irony here. On one hand, the FBI wants the courts to force Apple to assist with bypassing the security measures that are in place on an iPhone 5c that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters,... Read more...
It's been an incredible month for Apple, the FBI, and all of us. We've been sitting back, watching the battle of these two giants, as a conclusion about whether or not the FBI should have a right to access encrypted data on someone's smartphone is reached. It seems like not a day can go by without an update to this interesting saga, and we've been keeping you informed throughout it all. Late last week, we saw an interesting twist: the FBI came out and said that if Apple doesn't want to help it out, or invest its own time to help the FBI accomplish its goal, then the company could simply hand over its source code. It's hugely unlikely that this would ever happen, and even if it did, there's no... Read more...
There are no shortages of opinion on the dispute between Apple and the FBI and whether or not the former should be forced to assist the latter with bypassing the security measures of an iPhone 5c model that belonged to Syed Farook, one of the terrorists involved in the deadly San Bernardino shooting. Unfortunately, our founding fathers are no longer around to provide some insight of their own, but that's okay because Apple's taken the liberty of speaking for them. As far as Apple and its legal team is concerned, George Washington and the rest of the gang who worked on the committed to draft the Declaration of Independence "would be appalled" at the powers the U.S. government wields today. Furthermore,... Read more...
It looks as though the National Security Agency (NSA) crown jewels are about to be fondled by the rest of America’s intelligence agencies. The NSA monitors and collects various types of communications including emails, phone calls, and even transmissions conducted by our foreign allies (and foes). As we learned from the the Edward Snowden leaks, this information is stored in bulk and is one of the reasons for the ever-increasing use of encryption in our smartphones (see Apple vs FBI). Historically, the data collected has mainly been kept within the halls of the NSA and only offered to other intelligence agencies — i.e. the CIA and the FBI — after being scrubbed of “irrelevant” identifiable personal... Read more...
The battle between Apple and the FBI over unlocking the iPhone 5c belonging to one of the San Bernardino mass shooters is getting nasty — really nasty. Although Apple and the U.S. Government are set to see each other in court on March 22nd, the two have been playing up their respective sides of the story to the public for weeks. But the FBI has upped the stakes in a 43-page brief penned by Eileen M. Decker, U.S. Attorney; Patricia A. Donahue, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Chief of the National Security Division; and Tracy L. Wilkison, Chief, Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section. The brief levels numerous accusations against Apple in what the government sees as an effort by Apple to cloud... Read more...
Rather than work things out in private, the FBI has chosen to drag Apple through court and force its hand in providing technical assistance in cracking the security of an iPhone 5c model that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters. There's been a lot of posturing on both sides, and with regards to the FBI, former NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden says the agency is fully capable of unlocking the phone without Apple's help. Snowden is the latest high profile individual to offer up commentary in the feud between the FBI and Apple. He's also uniquely qualified to discuss what the FBI is and isn't capable of doing, as he was the one who leaked thousands of documents and data... Read more...
One thing you can count on when Apple is in the midst of a controversy is an opinion from Steve Wozniak, the outspoken tech guru who doesn't always side with the company he co-founded. Heck, if Apple toots in the wind, it's a good bet the Woz will have something to say about it. Surprisingly, he's been quiet about Apple's beef with the FBI over iPhone encryption, though he made his feelings known in an appearance on the Conan O'Brien show. Straight to the point, Wozniak is decidedly on Apple's side on this one. As one of the founders of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit digital rights group that seeks to protect civil liberties in the digital world, it's not surprising that... Read more...
Everyone seems to have an opinion on the battle between Apple and the FBI over iPhone security, and specifically the iPhone 5c model that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple's position on the matter is clear—building a backdoor for the FBI to exploit would leave hundreds of millions of iPhones vulnerable. In an op-ed piece for The Washington Times, Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi said it's "disappointing" that the FBI wants Apple to essentially "turn back the clock" on security.Federighi's position is that smartphones like the iPhone are more than just personal devices. Sure, they contain sensitive information like emails, text messages, photos,... Read more...
One of the most important legal matters of our time is playing out right before our very eyes. It involves Apple and its unwillingness to comply with a court order to assist the FBI with cracking the security on an iPhone 5c model that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters, and while we've heard intelligent arguments from both sides, things just took a turn towards Crazy Town. San Bernardino's District Attorney Michael Ramos is responsible for navigating the case in that direction by warning of a "cyber pathogen" that might be "lying dormant" on the iPhone 5c model that's causing such a fuss. What, you've never heard of a cyber pathogen before? Neither has anyone else.Scientists being... Read more...
It’s been an interesting few days for Amazon. The company came under fire late this week when it was revealed that Fire OS 5 removed device encryption from Fire tablets. Given the brouhaha surrounding encryption these days, Amazon’s decision was rather curious. The company confirmed the move in a statement yesterday, writing, “We removed some enterprise features that we found customers weren’t using.” Given the overwhelmingly negative reaction to disabling device encryption on its Fire tablets, it should come as no surprise that Amazon has quickly changed its tune. Without going into further detail, the company simply issues the following statement: We will return the option for full disk encryption... Read more...
The high profile dispute between the FBI and Apple is one that didn't have to play out in the public eye. Had the FBI gone to Apple right away with the iPhone 5c that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters, Apple could instructed the agency on the proper steps to obtaining the data kept inside, but the FBI made a mistake. FBI director James Comey admitted as much during a House Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday."There was a mistake made in the first 24 hours, where the county, at the FBI's request, made it hard to make the phone back up by [changing he password of] the iCloud account," Comey testified. His statement was an about-face from comments made prior to the hearing in which... Read more...
Later this afternoon Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell will stand before the House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee and present his argument for Apple's unwillingness to help the FBI break into the now infamous iPhone 5c model that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters. What he's going to say isn't a mystery. This will be Apple's first appearance before Congress since it was ordered to provide technical assistance to the FBI in thwarting its own security measures. Sewell will likely face a lot of scrutiny for Apple's decision, as he'll be joined by a number of ranking officials who have sided with the FBI in this ongoing dispute. One of them is the FBI director himself, James... Read more...
Apple has the U.S. Government breathing down its neck with regards to unlocking an iPhone 5S tied to a San Bernardino terrorist. In that particular case, the FBI is playing off themes of national security and threats of terrorism to win the support of the American public in its fight against Apple. However, Apple today scored an early victory against the FBI in a lower-profile New York case that similarly revolves around forcing the company to crack into an iPhone that is passcode-locked. U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein ruled that the FBI’s use of the 1789 All Writs Act (AWA) was a vast overreach by the government, and one that is likely unconstitutional. In the 50-page ruling, Orenstein... Read more...
A number of companies quickly came to Apple’s defense when the FBI sent its attack dogs to force the company to provide access to a passcode-locked iPhone 5c. Those tech giants included Google, Facebook and Twitter, but conspicuously missing was Microsoft. Sure, we heard from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, but his commentary was far from a ringing endorsement for Apple’s actions. Today, however, we’re getting a more full-throated response from Microsoft, and the Redmond, Washington-based company is “wholeheartedly” throwing its full support behind Apple. “We at Microsoft support Apple and will be filing an amicus brief next week,” said Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith.... Read more...
Apple is under immense pressure to cave in and give into the requests of the FBI when it comes to unlocking one iPhone 5c that is tied to a ruthless terrorist. The FBI’s initial demands of Apple fell on deaf ears, so a court order was issued for Apple to provide “reasonable technical assistance” to aid in unlocking the device. Apple countered that doing so would only put more of its customers at risk and set a dangerous precedent for future cases. So what is a company like Apple to do when it’s tasked with going toe-to-toe with all the legal might of the U.S. Government in a case that shows Apple on the wrong side of public opinion? If you’re Tim Cook, you double down on iPhone security. A new... Read more...
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