FBI Insists Apple Cooperate Despite Resetting iCloud Password on Shooter's iPhone

iPhone-PasscodeThe U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed that it worked with San Bernardino County government officials to reset the iCloud account password on an iPhone belonging to suspected terrorist Syed Farook, according to a press statement obtained by Re/code.

Apple told reporters on Friday that the Apple ID password associated with Farook's iPhone was changed "less than 24 hours" after being in government hands. Had the password not been altered, Apple believes the backup information the government is asking for could have been accessible to Apple engineers.

Nevertheless, the FBI insists that the iCloud password reset does not impact Apple's ability to comply with a court order demanding it create a modified iOS version that allows authorities to unlock the shooter's iPhone 5c by way of a brute-force attack.

The FBI further stated that "direct data extraction from an iOS device often provides more data than an iCloud backup contains," and said investigators may be able to extract more evidence from the shooter's iPhone with Apple's assistance. Tim Cook and company, however, have thus far refused to cooperate.

Even if the password had not been changed and Apple could have turned on the auto-backup and loaded it to the cloud, there might be information on the phone that would not be accessible without Apple’s assistance as required by the All Writs Act order, since the iCloud backup does not contain everything on an iPhone. As the government’s pleadings state, the government’s objective was, and still is, to extract as much evidence as possible from the phone.

Cook shared an open letter on Wednesday stating that while Apple is "shocked and outraged" by the San Bernardino attacks last December, and presumes "the FBI's intentions are good," the company strongly believes that building a "backdoor" for U.S. government officials would be "too dangerous to create."

The White House later denied that the FBI is asking Apple to "create a new backdoor to its products," but rather seeking access to a single iPhone. On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice called Apple's opposition a "marketing strategy" in a motion filed to compel Apple to comply with the original court order.

The dispute between Apple and the FBI has ignited a widespread debate over the past six days. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have publicly backed Apple, and some campaigners have rallied to support the company, while U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and some San Bernardino victims have sided with the FBI.

Apple now has until February 26 to file its first legal arguments against the court order.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

sputnikv Avatar
71 months ago
You know, one could easily see this as the FBI trying to get into everyone's phones, but it's also making them look really incompetent.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Z400Racer37 Avatar
71 months ago
"No, but we really, REALLY want you to compromise the security of all your devices to satisfy this one whim. Just this one timeeee... We promiseee."

In spite of my disagreement with this guy on a lot of issues, Tim has been absolutely heroic in this issue of privacy. Just fantastic.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ghost187 Avatar
71 months ago
If FBI wins, the world will irreversibly lose its privacy.

If Apple wins, we live to fight another day.

Freedom isn't cheap nor easy.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jettredmont Avatar
71 months ago
So is Apple sitting hard on the key, or is there simply no key? The former would indicate Apple is, as accused, using this as an opportunity to generate warm fuzzies from its customers. The latter would be more palatable, to me anyway.

As a megacorp, I've always found it rather unbelievable that Apple doesn't have the ability to crack it's own keys. But if they won't decrypt this phone because they genuinely can't, wouldn't that be a better argument to the Feds?
Quick recap / summary:

1. Apple does NOT have any "key" to give the FBI or anyone else.
2. The FBI is not asking for a "key", but instead for a special firmware build which will allow them to try each of the 10,000 4-digit passcodes for the device without either activating the soft-lockout (after I think 9 attempts it takes an hour between allowed attempts) or the 10th-failure-data-wipe feature which may or may not be on on the device.
3. Such a firmware build would have to be signed by Apple, and would allow intrusion on any existing iPhone in physical custody.
4. The warrant asks that the specific build be tied to this specific phone, but it is unlikely that this serial-number lock could be engineered as tamper-proof.
5. Finally, if Apple establishes precedent here, that precedent will be applied by various countries around the world (and rumor is that significant pressure to do exactly this has previously been applied by China, and that giving in to the FBI will lead directly to Apple being required to do the same for China as a cost of doing business in that country).

Also: White House Petition to Side With Apple in FBI Fight ('https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/apple-privacy-petition')
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
paul4339 Avatar
71 months ago
I love how the FBI now "has confirmed that it worked with San Bernardino County government officials to reset the iCloud account password" after the County defended itself by tweeting that FBI actually told them to do it.

The FBI made it look like the County were a bunch of buffoons and reset the password.
The County tweeted that the FBI told them to do it.
Now the FBI implies, "ok, it was joint effort"

Just sounds like the FBI is trying to cover up any wrong doing or mistakes by blaming others (throwing anyone under bus even if they try to help)

.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Michael Scrip Avatar
71 months ago

As a megacorp, I've always found it rather unbelievable that Apple doesn't have the ability to crack it's own keys.
Isn't that the whole point?

Otherwise... security that can be broken isn't really secure ;)
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware Now Available

Wednesday July 21, 2021 6:50 am PDT by
Upcoming AirPods Pro firmware updates are now available to Apple Developer Program members as beta versions. AirPods Pro firmware beta one features FaceTime Spatial Audio and Ambient Noise Reduction. Custom Transparency mode, including Conversation Boost, was initially expected to be included in the beta but appears to have been delayed for a later version. Apple made the announcement...
maxresdefault

Apple Music to Livestream Premiere of Kanye West's New Album 'Donda' on Thursday

Wednesday July 21, 2021 1:49 am PDT by
Apple Music on Thursday will host a global livestream for the premiere of Kanye West's tenth studio album, titled "Donda." The sold-out event will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, and Apple Music's livestream will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The livestream was revealed in a Beats Studio Buds ad that aired during the NBA Finals. The ad features U.S. track...
General Apps Messages

All Three Major U.S. Carriers and Google Adopt Rich Communication Services, But No Sign of Apple Interest

Tuesday July 20, 2021 1:15 pm PDT by
For the last several years, Google has been pushing a new communications protocol called Rich Communication Services, or RCS. RCS is designed to replace SMS, the current text message standard, and it offers support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, bigger file sizes, better encryption, improved group chat, and more. Verizon today announced that it is planning to adopt...
ios wifi settings

Apple Confirms iOS 14.7 Fixes WiFi Bug and Many Other Vulnerabilities

Wednesday July 21, 2021 11:38 am PDT by
Following the release of iPadOS 14.7 this morning, Apple has shared details on the security updates that are included in iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, macOS Big Sur 11.5, watchOS 7.6, and tvOS 14.7, all of which came out this week. Notably, Apple's documentation confirms that the iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7 updates address a WiFi-related vulnerability that could impact iOS devices when joining a...
macOS Malware Feature

Common Windows Malware Can Now Infect Macs

Wednesday July 21, 2021 8:13 am PDT by
A common form of malware on Windows systems has been modified into a new strain called "XLoader" that can also target macOS (via Bleeping Computer). Derived from the Formbook info-stealer for Windows, XLoader is a form of cross-platform malware advertised as a botnet with no dependencies. It is used to steal login credentials, capture screenshots, log keystrokes, and execute malicious files. ...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 With Podcast App Updates and Bug Fixes

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.5, the fifth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.5 comes two months after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.4. The new ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌ 11.5 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. macOS Big Sur...
idos 2 app ios

Apple to Pull 'iDOS 2' DOS Emulator From App Store

Thursday July 22, 2021 3:22 pm PDT by
iDOS 2, an app designed to allow users to play classic DOS games, will soon be pulled from the App Store, the app's creator said today. According to iDOS developer Chaoji Li, he tried to submit an iDOS update with bug fixes to the App Store, but was told that the update was rejected because it violated the 2.5.2 App Store guideline that says apps cannot install or launch executable code.Durin...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
iPad mini pro feature

Next-Generation iPad Mini Will Reportedly Feature a Mini-LED Display

Thursday July 22, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple is widely rumored to be planning a new iPad mini with a significant redesign, including a larger 8.5-inch to 9-inch display with slimmer bezels, a Touch ID power button instead of a home button, a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connector, and more. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today, the sixth-generation iPad mini will also feature a mini-LED display:BLU...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature teal

AirPods 3 Mass Production Said to Kick Off in August

Tuesday July 20, 2021 8:40 pm PDT by
Mass production of the third-generation AirPods will kick off in August, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. They will reportedly join a number of other products such as the iPhone 13 lineup and redesigned MacBook Pro models as launches coming before the end of the year. Renderings of rumored third-generation AirPods design Rumored launch dates for the third-generation AirPods have...