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Tag: apple

Judge Refuses FBI Request to Force Potential Targets to Give Fingerprints to Unlock iPhones

fingerprint-smaller-version

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The battle over privacy and devices continues.

This time it’s taking place in Chicago.

A federal judge in Chicago has rejected a request by the FBI to force potential targets to provide fingerprints to unlock any iPhones or Apple devices in child pornography case, Jason Meisner and Steve Schmadeke of the Chicago Tribune report.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Weisman decision came in response to a request for a warrant to search a residence where investigators suspect someone was using the internet to traffic images of child pornography, the Trib reports. 

The Trib reports:

The prosecution filing seeking the search warrant on the FBI’s behalf remains under seal, but the judge’s opinion said the government requested “the authority to compel any individual who is present at the subject premises at the time of the search” to provide a fingerprint or thumbprint needed to unlock an Apple device.

Weisman, a former federal prosecutor and FBI agent, wrote in his 14-page opinion last month that the government hadn’t presented enough facts in its application that would justify such sweeping “intrusions,” including any specific information about those who might be living at the residence or their connection to the child pornography investigation.

FBI Wants to Hack into Another Encrypted iPhone Belonging to a Dead Man

Apple logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI may be headed for another legal showdown with Apple.

Eight months after the FBI asked a court to order Apple to help hack into the encrypted iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Rizwan Farook, the bureau has obtained the iPhone of the man who stabbed 10 people in a Minnesota mall, Wired reports. 

Tahir Adan’s phone is locked with a passcode, and FBI agents are still trying to access the contents.

“Dahir Adan’s iPhone is locked,” FBI special agent Rich Thorton told reporters, “We are in the process of assessing our legal and technical options to gain access to this device and the data it may contain.”

Thornton didn’t reveal the model of iPhone or its operating system.

Apple declined to help the FBI break into Farook’s phone, prompting the bureau to hire an outside entity to access the phone.

Other Stories of Interest

How Apple Helped FBI Take Down World’s Largest Torrent Site

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

While Apple was battling the FBI in court over unlocking an iPhone, the technology giant was quietly helping the FBI on another investigation.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Apple provided the FBI with records of the world’s largest torrent site.

Apple’s role led to the arrest of Ukranian national Artm Vaulin, who was charged with copyright infringement and money laundering.

“Apple’s involvement in the arrest of Vaulin shows its willingness to cooperate with the government on certain matters, particularly because Apple is a heavyweight in the music industry, even while holding the line against violating the security of millions of its consumers,” The Christian Science Monitor wrote. 

LAPD Unlocked an iPhone While FBI Was Struggling to Open Another

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

While the FBI struggled to break into an iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department managed to unlock an iPhone 5S, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

A “forensic cellphone expert” helped bypass the security features on an iPhone belonging to the deceased wife of The Shield actor Michael Jace. The actor is accused of killing his wife.

Detectives wanted to gain access to the phone because the pair allegedly had an argument via text message.

It’s unclear how detectives managed to open the phone.

The FBI sued Apple to force the company to open the phone but the feds dropped the case after the bureau paid under $1 million to a hacking group to unlock the phone.

FBI Paid At Least $1.3M to Unlock San Bernardino iPhone, Director Suggests

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An undisclosed group of hackers received at least $1.3 million to help the FBI unlock an iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, the New York Times reports. 

FBI Director James Comey was asked at a technology conference in London on Thursday how much the bureau paid for the outside group.

“Let’s see, more than I will make in the remainder of this job, which is seven years and four months, for sure,” Comey said.

Comey makes about $185,000 a year – or $1.35 million for the remainder of his 10-year term.

The FBI had been unwilling to disclose the amount spent on unlocking the phone and declined to comment on the specific cost.

FBI Finds Useful Information on Unlocked iPhone of San Bernardino Shooter

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is making progress after cracking an iPhone of one of the San Bernardino killers.

Fortune reports that the phone reveals Syad Farook likely did not coordinate with another plotter.

The phone has been at the center of a heated debate over privacy and encryption.

After Apple refused to help open the iPhone, the FBI found help from professional hackers.

The FBI continues to search the phone for evidence.

Homeland Security: Uninstall Quicktime on Windows PC Because of Hacking Vulnerabilities

quicktimeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland security officials and a top cybersecurity farm are warning Windows PC users to uninstall Apple’s Quicktime video player because bugs could be used to launch attacks on computers, Fox News reports. 

Authorities discovered bugs in the software that make it vulnerable to attacks.

Apple, however, is not issuing security updates for Quicktimes for Windows, the Trend Micro security firm said.

Experts have not seen any hacking cases yet.

“The only mitigation available is to uninstall QuickTime for Windows,” DHS’s United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team said. 

Apple has not commented publicly on the issue.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Battled Encryption 13 Years Ago in Investigation of Animal Welfare Group

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When the FBI was investigating an animal welfare group accused of sabotaging a company that tests drugs on animals in early 2003, agents hit began intercepting call and e-mails of the activists.

But agents couldn’t read the e-mail because of software.

The New York Times reports that the FBI persuaded a judge to let agents install a software to bypass encryption on the group’s computers.

“This was the first time that the Department of Justice had ever approved such an intercept of this type,” an F.B.I. agent wrote in a 2005 document summing up the case.

The encryption helped prosecutors convict six activists with conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Protection Act.

The case is a precursor to the battle with Apple of encryption.