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Tag: apple

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.

Professional Hackers Helped FBI Unlock San Bernardino Terrorist’s iPhone

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Professional hackers helped the FBI unlock a San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone by exploiting a previously unknown software flaw.

The Washington Post reports that the FBI cracked the phone’s four-digit personal identification number by creating a piece of hardware that would prevent the security feature from erasing all of the data.

The FBI paid the hackers a one-time flat fee.

But the solution won’t help the FBI with every iPhone. The new information was only helpful opening an iPhone 5Cs running the iOS9 operating system.

The bureau is unsure whether it will reveal to Apple the procedure used to open the phone. If the information was shared with Apple, FBI Director James Comey said, “they’re going to fix it and then we’re back where we started from.”

FBI Debates Sharing Details of Successful iPhone Hack with Apple

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is debating whether to explain to Apple how the bureau unlocked an iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, Director James Comey said.

During a speech Wednesday at Kenyon College in Ohio, Comey said the decision isn’t easy, CBS News reports. 

“If we tell Apple, they’re going to fix it and we’re back where we started,” Comey said. “As silly as it may sound, we may end up there. We just haven’t decided yet.”

Comey said the technology only works on iPhone 5Cs running iOS9.

The FBI’s struggle to unlock the phone prompted plenty of offers by technology companies to help, Comey said.

“Someone outside the government, in response to that attention, came up with a solution,” Comey said. “One that I am confident will be closely protected and used lawfully and appropriately.”

He added: “The FBI is very good at keeping secrets and the people we bought this from — I know a fair amount about them, and I have a high degree of confidence that they’re very good at protecting it and their motivations align with ours,” Comey said.

FBI Director Says Bureau ‘Purchased a Tool’ to Unlock iPhone

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey said the FBI “purchased a tool” to unlock an iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.

Comey, who made the disclosure during a speech at Ohio’s Kenyon College, didn’t elaborate on the technology.

“The people that we bought this [tool] from – I know a fair amount about them and I have a high degree of confidence that they are very good at protecting it, and their motivations align with ours,” Comey said during a question-and-answer period following his talk, Fox News reports. 

The FBI is expected to share details with some members of Congress.

Comey said the technology only works on an iPhone 5C.

“This doesn’t work on [an iPhone] 6S, doesn’t work in a 5S, and so we have a tool that works on a narrow slice of phones,” he added.

FBI Offers to Help Local Law Enforcement Unlock iPhones for Investigations

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is offering to help local law enforcement bypass security features on the iPhone.

“In mid-March, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking the iPhone,” the letter obtained by BuzzFeed News reads. “That method for unlocking that specific iPhone proved successful.”

The letter, in response to questions from local law enforcement about the technique used to open the phone, continued, “We are in this together.”

Numerous law enforcement agencies have reported trouble opening locked iPhones.

Apple has refused to help, saying it would set a dangerous precedent that would compromise the security and privacy of the phones.

The FBI said its method for opening an iPhone is classified.

Buffalo News: Congress Must Act to Resolve Issues Between Apple, FBI

congress copyBy Edtorial Board
Buffalo News

One could say that the Justice Department’s finding a way to unlock an iPhone without help from Apple is unfortunate.

To some, it could further delay serious discussion about privacy rights in this age of fast-evolving technology.

Congress needs to face up to its obligation to have this debate and to come to some reasonable conclusion. It needs to balance privacy rights with the increasingly challenging task of keeping the country safe from those who would commit mass murder.

This is a long-standing and continually developing issue, and one that Congress has largely ignored, as technology changes and becomes a tool of terrorists. Fundamentally, the law has not kept pace with science. But the need for a response is plain, even if the answers are difficult.

More and more Americans keep personal information, sometimes sensitive information, on their smartphones. Constitutionally, they have a right to privacy.

Yet the ability to monitor terrorists, who value body counts above all else, is also tied to technology, as is the investigation of crimes such as the San Bernardino, Calif., massacre that prompted this confrontation.

Both sides have compelling cases, which is a prescription for court action. It would be better for Congress to debate and resolve these questions.

Privacy advocates say they will keep the issue at the forefront, but the Justice Department has withdrawn its legal effort to compel Apple to unlock an iPhone and, in so doing, assist in an investigation of a mass shooting.

The phone belonging to one of the San Bernardino killers, Syed Rizwan Farook, may contain information about where he and his wife, an accomplice in that horrific attack in which 14 people died, may have traveled, who they contacted or any further plots.