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  • iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter cracked by FBI, DOJ drop Apple legal fight

    The FBI have managed to unlock the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers, ending a contentious court case with Apple.


    In a court filing asking that the case be dismissed, federal prosecutors said the US Government had "successfully accessed the data stored on [Syed Rizwan] Farook's iPhone and therefore no longer requires assistance from Apple Inc".

    "Our decision to conclude the litigation was based solely on the fact that, with the recent assistance of a third party, we are now able to unlock that iPhone without compromising any information on the phone,"
    US attorney Eileen Decker said in a statement

    Apple, backed by a broad number of tech giants like Google and Facebook, opposed to assisting the US Government in unlocking the device on the grounds it would have wide-reaching implications on digital security and privacy. Farook and his wife killed 14 people and injured a further 22 in the California shooting in December last year. The couple died in a shootout with police after the rampage.

    Last week, US officials said they were hopeful they would be able to unlock the county-owned iPhone without help from Apple. Apple had argued the government request would create a "back door" to phones that could be abused by criminals and governments, and that Congress had not given the Justice Department authority to make such a demand.

    Ms Decker said the Government's request to Apple was part of its "solemn commitment" to the shooting victims.

    "Although this step in the investigation is now complete, we will continue to explore every lead and seek any appropriate legal process to ensure our investigation collects all of the evidence related to this terrorist attack,"
    "The FBI's credibility just hit a new low," he said in a statement. "They repeatedly lied to the court and the public in pursuit of a dangerous precedent that would have made all of us less safe.

    "Fortunately, internet users mobilised quickly and powerfully to educate the public about the dangers of backdoors, and together we forced the Government to back down."

    Apple has commented with a brief statement:

    "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.

    We will continue to help law enforcement with their investigations, as we have done all along, and we will continue to increase the security of our products as the threats and attacks on our data become more frequent and more sophisticated.

    Apple believes deeply that people in the States and around the world deserve data protection, security and privacy. Sacrificing one for the other only puts people and countries at greater risk.

    This case raised issues which deserve a national conversation about our civil liberties, and our collective security and privacy. Apple remains committed to participating in that discussion."
    The government has not yet determined whether or not it will furnish details of the vulnerability to Apple engineers, and it is not clear that the company is entitled to such information.

    The DOJ made no substantial comments on the matter during a media conference call, saying that releasing details on the exploit would be premature. Apple did not comment on today's news.

    [via Scribd]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter cracked by FBI, DOJ drop Apple legal fight started by Caiden Spencer View original post
    Comments 18 Comments
    1. fatzac's Avatar
      fatzac -
      Any word on this "3rd party" or the exploit used?
    1. Caiden Spencer's Avatar
      Caiden Spencer -
      Quote Originally Posted by fatzac View Post
      Any word on this "3rd party" or the exploit used?
      http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-news...chers-say.html
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      This whole ordeal has been fascinating.
    1. Dad2711's Avatar
      Dad2711 -
      So how do we no stand with the high encryption on our phone if the wrong hands get access to our phone like apple pay ect this now make our phone not safe if one person can do it now lots of people will try to get it our phones may as well leave it unlocked and Of auto delete [emoji35]
    1. Silvio6's Avatar
      Silvio6 -
      Let's hope it will be worth all this, and they find useful information in the phone, not just junk mails and some sexting :-)
    1. Pvt Parts's Avatar
      Pvt Parts -
      Could be BS. 1. You can't believe anything they say. 2. They may have decided that the data on the phone probably wasn't worth much and their position in this case was too weak to risk losing. 3. They'll wait until they have a stronger position with the Courts and/or Congress to take action again. The Government rarely drops a case unless they're afraid they'll lose and wind up with a decision that will hurt them more in the long run. I see this as a "risk assessment" decision.
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      Quote Originally Posted by Silvio6 View Post
      Let's hope it will be worth all this, and they find useful information in the phone, not just junk mails and some sexting :-)
      The odds of there being any actionable information on the phone have been extremely low from the get-go. The attackers were well-prepared, and it's highly doubtful they would just leave behind any critical information behind that could lead finding and taking down any potential conspirators.
    1. iPhoneThereforeIAm's Avatar
      iPhoneThereforeIAm -
      I think Apple have subverted national security to their own business interests - and in so doing, are tacitily supporting terrorism.
      Their decision is unAmerican at best - and quite possibly, treasonable.

      And what good is a secure iPhone if you've just been blown to pieces, anyway ?

      Apple's first duty is to the security of its country of birth and its citizens.
      All other considerations are secondary.

      Now iOS security has been shown to be sub-standard - so, not only have they made themselves look like terrorist-sympathisers, but they've highlighted another iOS vulnerability in an extremely public way.

      All they had to do was quietly assist the FBI in its anti-terrorism efforts and no-one would have known or suffered loss or damage.

      I have no sympathy for Apple or its damaged profitability.
    1. Oddlane's Avatar
      Oddlane -
      Quote Originally Posted by iPhoneThereforeIAm View Post
      I think Apple have subverted national security to their own business interests - and in so doing, are tacitily supporting terrorism.
      Their decision is unAmerican at best - and quite possibly, treasonable.

      And what good is a secure iPhone if you've just been blown to pieces, anyway ?

      Apple's first duty is to the security of its country of birth and its citizens.
      All other considerations are secondary.

      Now iOS security has been shown to be sub-standard - so, not only have they made themselves look like terrorist-sympathisers, but they've highlighted another iOS vulnerability in an extremely public way.

      All they had to do was quietly assist the FBI in its anti-terrorism efforts and no-one would have known or suffered loss or damage.

      I have no sympathy for Apple or its damaged profitability.
      This is the most ignorant and uninformed post I've read about this whole ordeal.
    1. odoggy75's Avatar
      odoggy75 -
      Quote Originally Posted by iPhoneThereforeIAm View Post
      I think Apple have subverted national security to their own business interests - and in so doing, are tacitily supporting terrorism.
      Their decision is unAmerican at best - and quite possibly, treasonable.

      And what good is a secure iPhone if you've just been blown to pieces, anyway ?

      Apple's first duty is to the security of its country of birth and its citizens.
      All other considerations are secondary.

      Now iOS security has been shown to be sub-standard - so, not only have they made themselves look like terrorist-sympathisers, but they've highlighted another iOS vulnerability in an extremely public way.

      All they had to do was quietly assist the FBI in its anti-terrorism efforts and no-one would have known or suffered loss or damage.

      I have no sympathy for Apple or its damaged profitability.
      Your ignorance on this subject is quite obvious. This was about the FBI setting a precedent that would force corporations involved with encryption to surrender backdoor access to all of their products. Not just a terrorist, but anyone they wanted to get dirt on. I.E. using your phone data against you if you were arrested for a crime whether, guilty or innocent.
      They could have legally accessed the phone earlier if they hadn't screwed up before going to court. Big Brother was the enemy in this fight not Apple.
    1. iPhoneThereforeIAm's Avatar
      iPhoneThereforeIAm -
      Other than the clinically paranoid, only criminals fear 'Big Brother'.

      It is for the government to legislate against the surrender of back door access ... in all cases OTHER than terrorism.
      That is what we pay them for.

      And I have to ask what in the hell's wrong with getting dirt from the phones of criminals.
      I also have to ask why it is that you seek to tie the hands of the anti-crime and anti-terrorism agencies behind their backs.

      If government had been doing its job properly, the FBI would have had legal access to the phones in question (obviously, once legal sanction was obtained) immediately.

      Apple made itself the people's enemy in its self-interested refusal to co-operate with the democratically elected government of America.
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Quote Originally Posted by iPhoneThereforeIAm View Post
      Other than the clinically paranoid, only criminals fear 'Big Brother'.

      It is for the government to legislate against the surrender of back door access ... in all cases OTHER than terrorism.
      That is what we pay them for.

      And I have to ask what in the hell's wrong with getting dirt from the phones of criminals.
      I also have to ask why it is that you seek to tie the hands of the anti-crime and anti-terrorism agencies behind their backs.

      If government had been doing its job properly, the FBI would have had legal access to the phones in question (obviously, once legal sanction was obtained) immediately.

      Apple made itself the people's enemy in its self-interested refusal to co-operate with the democratically elected government of America.
      Except you’re wrong. There is perfectly good reason to fear the government, and not just privacy concerns. The “nothing to hide” argument is worthless, outdated, and outright wrong. In fact, I just read an article not 3 hours ago on how mass surveillance has been shown to shut down minority opinions. Many governments, including our own, have a history of abusing their power to silence those they disagree with. I made a post on a similar thread expressing exactly why I feel the way I do should you be interested, but the basic fact of the matter is that we cannot trust the FBI to have the rights of US citizens at heart.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Quote Originally Posted by iPhoneThereforeIAm View Post
      Other than the clinically paranoid, only criminals fear 'Big Brother'.

      It is for the government to legislate against the surrender of back door access ... in all cases OTHER than terrorism.
      That is what we pay them for.

      And I have to ask what in the hell's wrong with getting dirt from the phones of criminals.
      I also have to ask why it is that you seek to tie the hands of the anti-crime and anti-terrorism agencies behind their backs.

      If government had been doing its job properly, the FBI would have had legal access to the phones in question (obviously, once legal sanction was obtained) immediately.

      Apple made itself the people's enemy in its self-interested refusal to co-operate with the democratically elected government of America.
      read the link in my sig
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Whoops
    1. Carvensno's Avatar
      Carvensno -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dad2711 View Post
      So how do we no stand with the high encryption on our phone if the wrong hands get access to our phone like apple pay ect this now make our phone not safe if one person can do it now lots of people will try to get it our phones may as well leave it unlocked and Of auto delete [emoji35]
      Obliviously you have no clue how  pay works, the info is on the phone itself. When you input your credit card info  Pay coverts that info to a encrypted hardware id number.

      So even if your phone was stolen or hacked and some how they were able to get into the secure enclave chip and able to decode the encryption??? All they would get is a hardware id number which is no good.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by OneCrazyDJ View Post
      This is in the New Yorker's satire section, if that info is of use to anyone.
    1. djaquapimp's Avatar
      djaquapimp -
      Quote Originally Posted by iPhoneThereforeIAm View Post
      I think Apple have subverted national security to their own business interests - and in so doing, are tacitily supporting terrorism.
      Their decision is unAmerican at best - and quite possibly, treasonable.

      And what good is a secure iPhone if you've just been blown to pieces, anyway ?

      Apple's first duty is to the security of its country of birth and its citizens.
      All other considerations are secondary.

      Now iOS security has been shown to be sub-standard - so, not only have they made themselves look like terrorist-sympathisers, but they've highlighted another iOS vulnerability in an extremely public way.

      All they had to do was quietly assist the FBI in its anti-terrorism efforts and no-one would have known or suffered loss or damage.

      I have no sympathy for Apple or its damaged profitability.
      Lol this guy thinks speech should be forced.

      NOBODY should ever be forced to write or speak against their will! Apparently you don't know the constitution very well. Which i'd say is more un-American. [emoji23][emoji23][emoji23]