FBI may have contacted “grey hat” hacker group along with Cellebrite to unlock San Bernadino iPhone 5c

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Date: Wednesday, April 13th, 2016, 08:56
Category: Hacks, iOS, iPhone, Legal, News, security, Software

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The plot continues to thicken.

A group of unnamed sources cited by the Washington Post contradict the widely-held belief that it was Israel-based mobile forensics company Cellebrite which helped the FBI hack into the locked San Bernardino iPhone. The report say that the agency was instead approached by a group of freelance hackers who revealed an iPhone passcode vulnerability to the FBI in return for a one-time fee.

The researchers, who typically keep a low profile, specialize in hunting for vulnerabilities in software and then in some cases selling them to the U.S. government. They were paid a one-time flat fee for the solution.

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Cellebrite says it’s “optimistic” it can unlock iPhone 6 units

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Date: Monday, April 11th, 2016, 09:51
Category: iOS, iPhone, Legal, News, security

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Cellebrite, the company that is believed to have been hired by the FBI and successfully unlocked the San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone 5c, says that it is “optimistic” that it will also be able to access a locked iPhone 6.

Earlier this year, Italian architect Leonardo Fabbretti met with the company last week to see whether it could help gain access to his dead son’s iPhone. Before his death from bone cancer, 13-year-old Dama Fabbretti had added his father’s thumbprint to allow him access – but the phone required the passcode after a restart, and his father didn’t know the code.

Apple had told him it was impossible to access the iPhone without the passcode, but Fabretti stated that Cellebrite has already made progress.

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FBI director Comey says purchased hack tool will only unlock iPhone 5c units running iOS 9

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Date: Thursday, April 7th, 2016, 08:07
Category: iPhone, Legal, News, privacy, security, Software

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The tool the FBI bought to crack the San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone 5c can only be used on an iPhone 5c running iOS 9.

According to FBI director James Comey, the tool will not work on the iPhone 5s or 6 series, a statement Comey offered during a speech late Wednesday at Kenyon College.

The government is considering whether it should disclose to Apple the flaw that aided the hack: “We just haven’t decided yet,” he said at the Ohio college’s Center for the Study of American Democracy.

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New York case could push DOJ to tell Apple how FBI unlocked San Bernadino iPhone

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Date: Thursday, March 31st, 2016, 09:57
Category: iPhone, Legal, News, security

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Apple might be able to learn how the FBI unlocked the iPhone 5c used in the San Bernadino shooting if a New York lawsuit goes through.

To date, the FBI has remained mum as to how it unlocked the iPhone without Apple’s help, halting its court case against Apple. Interestingly, the unlocking brought a temporary halt to a second case in New York. There the Department of Justice was using the same All Writs Act argument in a Brooklyn court (above) to demand Apple help it unlock another iPhone in an unrelated drugs case.

That case was deferred in order to await the outcome of the FBI’s unlock attempt.

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Justice Department unlocks San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone 5c through third party, drops case against Apple

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Date: Tuesday, March 29th, 2016, 09:19
Category: iOS, iPhone, Legal, News, security

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The FBI finally unlocked the San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone 5c, even without Apple’s help.

The Justice Department announced yesterday that it was able to unlock San Bernadino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone 5c and released the following statement:

The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple Inc. mandated by Court’s Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search dated February 16, 2016.

Accordingly, the government hereby requests that the Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search dated February 16, 2016 be vacated.

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Netflix admits to throttling AT&T, Verizon users’ data

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Date: Friday, March 25th, 2016, 11:02
Category: Legal, News, Software

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Well, that could have gone better.

Netflix, which has been caught with its hand in the cookie jar, has gone on record to say that it throttled user data through AT&T and Verizon while trying to “protect consumers from exceeding mobile data caps.” As of now, AT&T and Verizon wireless customers are still limited to streaming Netflix at 600 kilobits per second, which reduces video quality in the process.

Sprint and T-Mobile have gone unthrottled because “historically those two companies have had more consumer-friendly policies,” Netflix asserted, referring to the fact that those carriers have typically slowed users down to 2G speeds when they exceed data caps, rather than threatening overage fees. Sprint, however, was throttling nearly all video until it was pressured to stop last year, and T-Mobile is marketing “Binge On,” a controversial program which lets customers watch unlimited video from select services, but only at DVD quality (480p).

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Feds claim they have means of unlocking San Bernadino iPhone, ask judge to delay Apple hearing until April 5th

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Date: Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016, 08:54
Category: iOS, iPhone, Legal, News, security

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The great iPhone Unlocking Controversy of 2016 may have an end in sight.

The United States Justice Department today asked the court overseeing its ongoing iPhone unlocking battle with Apple to postpone a hearing scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 22nd. The DoJ says new leads have been discovered that could provide it with a way to unlock the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook without involving Apple.

“On Sunday, March 20, 2016, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking [terrorist Syed] Farook’s iPhone,” federal prosecutors said in a filing Monday afternoon. “Testing is required to determine whether it is a viable method that will not compromise data on Farook’s iPhone. If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc. (“Apple”) set forth in the All Writs Act Order in this case.”

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Some Apple employees might refuse to help FBI unlock iPhone 5c if ordered to do so

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Date: Friday, March 18th, 2016, 08:15
Category: iOS, iPhone, Legal, News, security

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As the iPhone unlocking controversy roars on, a number of Apple engineers have said they may decide not to cooperate with law enforcement.

Apple employees who might be called on to help the FBI are already considering their actions should Apple lose the case. This is according to interviews conducted by the New York Times with half a dozen people involved in the development of mobile products and security at Apple.

Per the interviews, some said they they may balk at the work, while others may even quit their premium jobs rather than undermine the security of the software they have already created, according to more than a half-dozen current and former Apple employees.

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Justice Department mentions that it could compel Apple for iOS source code to create back door to unlock San Bernadino iPhone 5c

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Date: Tuesday, March 15th, 2016, 08:00
Category: iPhone, Legal, News, security

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The Justice Department is now stating that it could potentially demand Apple hand over iOS source code and a signing key in the San Bernadino iPhone case.

A recent court filing states that the Justice Department made the proposal as a footnote in a recent rebuttal of Apple’s arguments in the case. In the brief, government laywers said they have so far pursued their current strategy — asking Apple to build a passcode limit break for the FBI — because they thought handing over code would be “less palatable” to the company.

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Department of Justice uses New York case to cite All Writs Act towards iPhone unlocking case

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Date: Tuesday, March 8th, 2016, 07:35
Category: iPhone, Legal, News, security

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The legal soap opera continues.

As Apple remains embroiled in the San Bernadino iPhone unlocking controversy, a New York judge ruled last week that the government couldn’t force Apple to unlock a device. Now, apparently, the Department of Justice is fighting the ruling and is again citing the All Writs Act as reasoning.

The Justice Department has today resubmitted its case to a higher judge in the Eastern District of New York. In the filing, the government argues that the case regarding the San Bernardino gunman is evidence that the All Writs Act can be used to force a company to unlock a device.

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