Items tagged with FBI

Apple finds itself stuck between a rock and a hard place while the world watches to see how it wriggles out. Not that Apple is in any way hiding from the public—in a recent television interview with ABC News, Tim Cook offered some expanded thoughts on why he's not willing to comply with a court order to assist the FBI with breaking into an iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters. The overarching fear is that creating a backdoor into a secured iPhone would set a dangerous precedent, one that could later be abused. Cook is adamant that such a thing would put hundreds of millions of iPhone users at risk, both abroad and here in the U.S. He even went so far as to say that the necessary... Read more...
There’s a new voice speaking up in the battle between FBI and Apple over unlocking an iPhone that belonged to one of two San Bernardino terrorists that killed over a dozen people back in December. While tech giants including Facebook, Twitter and Google quickly came to Apple’s defense, a tech pioneer is striking a different tone in the increasingly thorny discussion. In a report posted yesterday entitled “Bill Gates Backs FBI iPhone Hack Request,” Gates is on camera expressing his opinion on the matter, which doesn’t exactly mesh with the thoughts and wishes of Apple CEO Tim Cook. Gates says that this case doesn’t involve anything close to what could be considered a backdoor, adding, “This is... Read more...
It seems like everyone and their uncle has an opinion or proposed solution on the iPhone encryption debate that has Apple at odds with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Apple's stance is that complying with the court order to essentially push out a security-breaking update to the iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters would set a dangerous legal precedent that puts the security and privacy of all iPhone owners at risk. As you might imagine, the FBI feels a bit differently, and now its director is appealing to the public's emotional side.In an op-ed piece posted to Lawfare, a blog devoted to "that nebulous zone in which actions taken or contemplated to protect the... Read more...
Updated 2/20/2016 - 9:57PM: If there weren't such tragic events leading up to the unprecedented court case involving Apple, the FBI and DOJ, the whole San Bernardino iPhone government access affair might look like a complete comedy of errors at this point. The San Bernardino gunman's locked iPhone could indeed reveal information as to whether or not they acted alone or were supported by others. And it could offer a wealth of information beyond that, that could possibly even save lives some day in the future. However, the slippery slope of legal precedent that will be set, if Apple ever does give in to the U.S. Magistrate Judge's court order to unlock the iPhone 5c that has caused such a stir,... Read more...
Wondering what John McAfee is up to these days? It's not sniffing bath salts nor is he fleeing foreign countries as a person of interest in a murder investigation and faking heart attacks—been there, done all that—instead he's on a mission to save America. How so? By cracking the code on that San Bernardino iPhone that's causing such a ruckus. Oh, where to begin. Let's start with the controversial iPhone, the one that was used by one of the San Bernardino shooters on that horrific day last December in which 14 people were killed and 22 others seriously injured. As part of an ongoing investigation into the terrorist activity that left more than a dozen people dead, a federal judge this week ordered... Read more...
It seems as though everyone has an opinion on Apple’s decision not to comply with the FBI’s request to unlock the iPhone 5c used by terrorists in December’s San Bernardino mass shooting. The noise surrounding the topic became louder when U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym ordered Apple to offer “reasonable technical assistance” to the FBI in unlocking device. The noise became deafening when Apple CEO Tim Cook fired back this morning, charging that the U.S. Government was overreaching. Never one to miss an opportunity to make his opinion known for all to hear, Donald Trump has spoken up on Apple’s decision to put up a blockade against the U.S. Government. In an interview this morning for Fox News’... Read more...
We can’t say that we didn’t see this one coming — an encryption showdown between Apple and the federal government. Apple has been adamant about batting down court orders to decrypt data on iPhones in order to assist criminal investigations, in an effort to generally protect user privacy. In turn, the FBI and other agencies have repeatedly criticized Apple for its stonewalling. Last week, FBI Director James Comey lamented the fact that his elite team of hackers still hadn’t been able to access the data on the smartphone belonging to the San Bernardino gunman that killed 14 people in early December. "It's been over two months now. We are still working on it,” said Comey last week before the Senate... Read more...
It's easier than ever to protect data online and elsewhere. Encryption is ubiquitous and while it's impossible to insure that your data well-secured from the likes of the government, there's no excuse for not taking important steps to increase your own personal protection as much as possible. That latter is especially true when you consider the fact that the FBI has a seemingly unlimited amount of resources to "counter the threat" of encryption. Humorously, many people who use encryption aim to "counter the threat" of the FBI or other government agencies. And according to the agency's 2017 budget request, the FBI is seeking another $38.3 million (on top of $31 million already appropriated) to... Read more...
There are two Dorkbots. One is a nerdy group of organizations that sponsor grassroots meetings of artists, engineers, designers, scientists, inventors, and anyone else involved in electronic art. Their motto is "people doing strange things with electricity," and they're cool. We like them. They're not affiliated with the other Dorkbot, which is the name of a botnet that the FBI just broke up.Despite the goofy name, Dorkbot was no laughing matter. Security researchers have been tracking Dorkbot for more than four years, during which time it's grown to infect over 1 million Windows PCs spread across 190 countries. Those behind the botnet used it launch cyberattacks and steal sensitive data.Left... Read more...
It looks as though tech firms have gotten a reprieve on forcefully decrypting data at the behest of law enforcement officials; at least for now. FBI Director James Comey, who has been an outspoken voice against tech companies that have implemented system wide encryption for their mobile operating systems, delivered the welcome news while testifying at a Senate hearing before the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “The administration has decided not to seek a legislative remedy now, but it makes sense to continue the conversations with [the] industry.” Those comments were echoed by, National Security Council spokesman Mark Stroh, who stated, “As part of those efforts, we are... Read more...
It’s no secret that Obama Administration doesn’t think too highly of smartphone encryption. Officials for the Department of Justice and the FBI have railed against encryption, likening it to obstruction of justice. “The notion that we would market devices that would allow someone to place themselves beyond the law, troubles me a lot,” said FBI Director James Comey last year. “As a country, I don't know why we would want to put people beyond the law. “The notion that people have devices, again, that with court orders, based on a showing of probable cause in a case involving kidnapping or child exploitation or terrorism, we could never open that phone? My sense is that we've gone too far when we've... Read more...
To quote Ron Burgundy in Anchorman, "Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast." He was referring to a deadly and chaotic showdown between various news stations, but he could have just as easily been talking about a recent security breach at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that's much worse than originally thought. It was initially reported that over 4.2 million current and former federal employees had their personnel data stolen as a result of the massive cybersecurity breach, but the Obama administration has now revealed that an additional 21.5 million individuals had their personal info compromised in the breach as well. That includes... Read more...
With the government agencies like the NSA, the CIA, and the FBI looking to ratchet up efforts to spy on both U.S. citizens within our own borders, and on foreign interests abroad, today’s bombshell revelation suggests that maybe the U.S. should start taking measures to beef up its cybersecurity at all of its federal agencies, ASAP. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has confirmed that over four million current and former federal employees have their personnel data stolen as a result of a massive cybersecurity breach. Information gleaned includes what the OPM classifies as personally identifiable information or PII. A security breach of this scale could only have been pulled off by... Read more...
In line with a HotHardware report published last October, officials yesterday confirmed to CNN that the White House was hacked last year and that the alleged culprit is the Russian government. The hackers — believed to be the same group that managed to gain entry to State Department computer system last October — were able to access sensitive information regarding President Barack Obama, including his private schedule. White House officials say although these cyber-attacks are among the most advanced to ever hit the US government, no classified systems were in breach. “This report is not referring to a new incident — it is speculating on the attribution of the activity of concern on the... Read more...
Hot on the heels of president Obama's insinuation that the government should never have an issue accessing a person's data comes an even scarier prospect -- being the victim of a search warrant just because you take steps to enhance your privacy.As it happens, that could become the reality, if the FBI gets its way. While it's no secret that government agencies spy on us as if we're all guilty of destabilizing national security, the Fourth Amendment has a number of protections in place that can prevent us from prosecution. So, the FBI has decided to go after a specific rule to help get rid of that roadblock.That rule is called Federal Rule 41(b), and the change would result in law enforcement... Read more...
There are plenty in the cybersecurity industry that contend that North Korea couldn’t have possibly orchestrated the devastating hack on Sony in retaliation for the comedic film The Interview. In mid-December, cybersecurity analyst Marc Rogers dismissed the FBI’s assertion that North Korea was behind the attacks, stating, “The broken English looks deliberately bad and doesn’t exhibit any of the classic comprehension mistakes you actually expect to see in ‘Konglish’. i.e it reads to me like an English speaker pretending to be bad at writing English.” Rogers went on to add; “The fact that the code was written on a PC with Korean locale & language actually makes it less likely to be North Korea.... Read more...
Sony is still trying to recover from a crippling hack that rocked its corporate networks in late November. Then attacks, which were carried out due to the planned release of the movie The Interview, resulted in leaked personal information, leaked emails and memos, threats against Sony employees and the families, and threats against movie theaters that attempted to show the film. Despite the threats, Sony ended up releasing the movie in theaters — with a much smaller rollout the initially planned — and online with impressive results. While the publicity and news coverage of the Sony hack is dying down as we enter 2015, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation... Read more...
One of the things we're not looking forward to in 2015 is a continuation of cyberattacks against companies big and small. For whatever reason, hackers have been on a rampage in 2014, hitting banks and retailers like Target, Home Depot, and others. It's gotten so out of hand that some companies have started hacking back. According to Bloomberg, the hack-back mentality is being fueled, in part, by the lack of intervention by U.S. officials. When that's the case, there remains little recourse for private-sector companies doing business in the U.S., so they've begun walking a fine legal line as they attempt to hack the hackers. U.S. companies have even hired cybersecurity firms to help them fight... Read more...
When news broke that the unparalleled attack against Sony last month was linked to a hacker group displeased with the company's film The Interview, there was little doubt that this wasn't an issue that'd die off fast. And considering the fact that the film tells a tale of two guys sent to North Korea to assassinate its 'Supreme Leader' Kim Jong-un, it seemed obvious who was behind the attack. If only it were that simple. Right away, the DPRK vehemently denied being involved, though that didn't stop both the White House and FBI from laying blame on the country. As it is today, many are starting to believe that North Korea actually wasn't involved at all, which complicates the situation further... Read more...
It's been quite the month as far as Sony and its film The Interview are concerned. In case you're just joining in, the ongoing saga began last month, when a hacker group calling itself Guardians of Peace (or 'GOP' for short) hit Sony with a crippling attack. At least 10TB of its data was stolen, much of which included employee records and unreleased Sony proprietary content. At that time, it wasn't entirely clear why GOP had such a beef with Sony, but it didn't take long to figure out that The Interview was the primary issue at hand. In The Interview, Seth Rogan and James Franco head to North Korea to get a once-in-a-lifetime interview with the supreme leader Kim Jong-un. That in itself would... Read more...
If you mess with the bull, you’ll get the horns. Sony became the victim of a massive cyberattack that took place in late November. But not only was Sony a victim, but numerous Sony employees were caught up in the mess when sensitive personal information like social security numbers were leaked onto the internet. After the hack came threats against Sony employees and their families, followed by terrorist threats against movie theaters that dared to show the film, “The Interview,” which resulted in major cinema chains withdrawing their support for the film. Without backing from big names like Regal Entertainment and Cinemark, Sony announced that it would not release the movie."Hey guys, can someone... Read more...
Last Wednesday, Sony decided not to release “The Interview” in theatres as the hacking group Guardians of Peace threatened 9/11-style attacks at theaters that showed the movie. However, it appears Sony has decided that it will show “The Interview” in some way according to a company lawyer. On Sunday, attorney for Sony Pictures David Boies said on NBC’s Meet the Press, “Sony only delayed this.” Boies was referring to Sony’s decision to cancel the movie’s Christmas Day release as major theatre chains such as AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Cineplex Entertainment, and Regal Entertainment Group refused to show the movie. In a statement, Sony announced it had made the... Read more...
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