Proposed California State Assembly Bill could work against smartphone encryption

Posted by:
Date: Friday, March 11th, 2016, 07:22
Category: Android, Google, iPhone, News, security, Software

iphoneunlock

For California smartphone users, this hits pretty close to home.

Assembly Bill 1681, a California State Assembly bill, would ban default encryption on all smartphones. The bill, introduced in January by Assemblymember Jim Cooper, would require any smartphone sold in California “to be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider.” This could be even more drastic than what’s going on with Apple’s legal showdown in the San Bernadino iPhone unlocking case.

Both Apple and Google currently encrypt smartphones running their iOS and Android operating systems by default. A.B. 1681 would undo this default, penalizing manufacturers and providers of operating systems $2,500 per device that cannot be decrypted at the time of sale.

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Justice Department cites Apple as “having raised technological barriers” in San Bernadino iPhone unlocking case

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 10th, 2016, 22:52
Category: Archive, iPhone, security, Software

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This is probably the next step in the escalating war between Apple and the Justice Department.

The Justice Department on Thursday issued a statement claiming Apple’s rhetoric of privacy protection in the San Bernadino iPhone 5c unlocking case to be “false”.

Last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a court order requiring Apple to write new software and take other measures to disable passcode protection and allow access to shooter Rizwan Farook’s iPhone.

Apple has yet to comply, stating that the government’s request would create a back door to devices that could not be removed from existence and could be used by criminals and governments. Apple added that Congress has not given the Justice Department the legal authority to make such a demand.

Apple has also attacked the FBI investigation as “shoddy” and portrayed itself as “the primary guardian of Americans’ privacy,” federal prosecutors said in a court filing on Thursday.

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Hardware hack for San Bernadino iPhone 5c possible but risky

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 10th, 2016, 07:49
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, security

lockediphone5c

The data onboard the iPhone 5c at the heart of the decryption/unlocking scandal could be accessible via a hardware technique.

This hardware technique, apparently, isn’t for the faint of heart.

In recent days, the American Civil Liberties Union’s technology fellow and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have suggested a method that would let investigators repeatedly guess the iPhone’s password.

Federal investigators fear San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook may have configured his work phone to use an Apple security feature that erases a key for decrypting data after 10 incorrect guesses of the phone’s password.

The forensic technique to get at the data, known as “chip off,” involves removing a NAND flash memory chip and copying its data. If successful, this would yield a decryption key that can be restored if it is erased after incorrect guesses.

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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

lockediphone5c

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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KeRanger ransomware arrives on the Mac, Transmission 2.90 application infected

Posted by:
Date: Monday, March 7th, 2016, 08:46
Category: News, security, Software

trojanhorse

Ransomware has come to the Mac.

Over the weekend, researcher at Palo Alto Networks stated that ransomeware, which encrypts data on infected machines, then typically asks users to pay ransoms in hard-to-trace digital currencies to get an electronic key so they can retrieve their data, has been found to be targeting the Mac OS X platform in the form of the “KeRanger” malware. The malware first appeared on Friday and seems to be attacking Apple’s Mac computers.

Security experts estimate that ransoms total hundreds of millions of dollars a year from such cyber criminals, who typically target users of Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) Windows operating system.

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Apple files formal objection in iPhone unlocking case, guarantees appeal via motion

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Date: Thursday, March 3rd, 2016, 07:12
Category: iPhone, Legal, News, security

lockediphone5c

Apple is apparently creating a second chance for itself with the iPhone unlocking/San Bernadino shooter case.

The company, following yesterday’s Congressional hearing, filed a formal objection to the court order instructing it to assist the FBI in breaking into an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

Apple had previously filed its mandatory response, in which it called for the court to vacate the order. This was a 65-page detailed document setting out the reasons the company believed the order should not have been granted.

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Husband of San Bernadino shooting survivor takes Apple’s side in iPhone encryption controversy

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 1st, 2016, 12:36
Category: iPhone, Legal, News, security, Software

lockediphone5c

While a recent poll has suggested that the majority of Americans support the FBI and would have Apple decrypt the San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone 5c, Apple apparently has the backing of the husband of one of the survivors of the terrorist attack, which left 14 people dead and 22 others seriously injured, after he changed his mind over the case.

Salihin Kondoker, whose wife Anies Kondoker was shot three times in the attack but avoided the main hall after taking a trip to the bathroom, filed a friend of the court brief siding with Apple in its dispute with the FBI. Writing in a letter to Judge Sheri Pym, Kondoker, Kondoker explains how his opinion on the case turned when he delved deeper into the longer term implications of the FBI’s order.

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Judge clears Apple from having to hack iPhone in New York case, could set precedent in San Bernadino controversy

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 1st, 2016, 08:10
Category: iOS, iPhone, Legal, News, security, Software

lockediphone5c

This is interesting.

Although it’s not tied to the headline-grabbing San Bernadino case, a federal judge has denied a government motion to force Apple to unlock an iPhone. The ruling could have implications for Apple’s current battle with the FBI over San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone 5c.

In the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Magistrate Judge James Orenstein ruled on Monday that the All Writs Act is being applied overly broadly by the government.

The case concerns an iPhone 5s used by a meth dealer who later pled guilty. Although the iPhone wasn’t running iOS 7 or later and wasn’t encrypted by default, it was felt that Apple could extract the data without needing to break the phone’s passcode.

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Malware, leaked emails, code samples point to HackingTeam’s return on the Mac

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 1st, 2016, 07:27
Category: Developer, News, security, Software

trojanhorse

HackingTeam has apparently returned.

A group of researchers has uncovered what appears to be malware from the HackingTeam group. The group had surfaced last July, creating malware-as-a-service software.

Recently, a sample of the group’s work, posted to the Internet, revealed 400 gigabytes worth of the group’s private e-mail and source code.

The sample was uploaded on February 4 to the Google-owned VirusTotal scanning service, which at the time showed it wasn’t detected by any of the major antivirus programs. A technical analysis published Monday morning by SentinelOne security researcher Pedro Vilaça showed that the installer was last updated in October or November, and an embedded encryption key is dated October 16, three months after the HackingTeam compromise.

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Apple, FBI director James Comey to testify before Congress on March 1st

Posted by:
Date: Friday, February 26th, 2016, 14:49
Category: iPhone, Legal, News, security

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This is going to get even more interesting.

It’s been announced that both FBI Director James Comey and Apple Inc Senior Vice President and General Counsel Bruce Sewell will testify at a March 1 congressional hearing on encryption issues, the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee said in a statement on Thursday.

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