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

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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

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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

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

applelogo1

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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Justice Department looking to have Apple help extract data from 12 additional iPhones

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Date: Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016, 07:12
Category: iPhone, Legal, News, security

lockediphone5c

The plot thickens.

In the midst of the controversy between Apple and the Department of Justice regarding the unlocking of the San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone, the U.S. Department of Justice is pursuing additional court orders that would force Apple to help federal investigators extract data from twelve other encrypted iPhones that may contain crime-related evidence.

The revelation comes nearly one week after a U.S. federal judge ordered Apple to assist the FBI with unlocking an iPhone belonging to suspected San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. Apple strongly opposed the court order last week in an open letter to customers.

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Apple working with FBI on San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone, still refusing to create backdoor to allow entry

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Date: Monday, February 22nd, 2016, 07:20
Category: iPhone, Legal, News, security, Software

lockediphone5c

Following up on last week’s coverage of Apple, the FBI, the Department of Justice, Donald Trump screaming about things and the San Bernadino shooter’s locked iPhone, it turns out that Apple has apparently offered the FBI four different options for recovering data on the iPhone 5c used by Syed Rizwan Farook. None of those methods involved Apple creating a backdoor into iOS as ordered by a federal court this week, and at least one of those methods might have been thwarted because a San Bernardino Health Department employee changed the password on the iTunes account tied to the iPhone.

According to unnamed company executives, Apple has been working with the FBI since “early January” to access data on the device. One of the methods proposed involved allowing the device to auto-connect to a trusted Wi-Fi network, where Apple hoped the device would auto-backup to iCloud. Apple would then be able to copy the data on iCloud for controlled retrieval.

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Apple iOS encryption battle could escalate to the Supreme Court

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Date: Friday, February 19th, 2016, 07:48
Category: iOS, iPhone, Legal, News, security

lockediphone5c

Apple’s cryptography fight could go all the way to the tippy top.

Following tim Cook’s reply to the court order instructing the company to assist the FBI in breaking into an iPhone left any room for doubt about Apple’s determination to fight the matter all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, that doubt appears to be removed by further background emerging today.

It’s been reported that Apple plans to press ahead with plans to increase its use of strong encryption.

Cook has since told colleagues that he plans to stand by Apple’s current encryption policies.

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Apple releases updated iOS 9.2.1 variant to make amends for handsets affected by Error 53

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Date: Thursday, February 18th, 2016, 13:00
Category: Hardware, iOS, iPhone, News, security

error53

A bit of an apology from Apple following the “Error 53” controversy.

Apple on Thursday released an updated version of iOS 9.2.1, bypassing what the company has admitted to be a factory test of the Home button during start up.

Apple released an updated version of iOS 9.2.1 to restore newer iPhones that were disabled by Error 53. This iOS update will prevent future iPhones from experiencing Error 53 if they have their Home buttons repaired by a third-party repair shop. This update can only be installed by connecting the iPhone to iTunes on a Mac or PC, not over the air.

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Federal judge orders Apple to help FBI unlock San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone 5c

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Date: Wednesday, February 17th, 2016, 08:19
Category: iOS, Legal, News, security, Software

lockediphone5c

A few months after the San Bernadino shootings, Apple was ordered by a U.S. federal judge on Tuesday to help the FBI unlock the iPhone 5c used by shooter Syed Farook. According to court papers, Apple “declined to provide [assistance] voluntarily.”

The judge ruled Tuesday that Apple had to provide “reasonable technical assistance” to the government in recovering data from the iPhone 5c, including bypassing the auto-erase function and allowing investigators to submit an unlimited number of passwords in their attempts to unlock the phone. Apple has five days to respond to the court if it believes that compliance would be “unreasonably burdensome.”

Prosecutors have argued that the “government was unable to complete the search because it cannot access the iPhone’s encrypted content.” The FBI argued that Apple has the “technical means” to assist the government and, in a statement, U.S. attorney Eileen M. Decker said that the order was a “potentially important step” in finding out “everything we possibly can” about the San Bernardino attack.

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Proposed bipartisan bill would prevent individual states from mandating backdoor access to encryption protocols

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 11th, 2016, 09:42
Category: iOS, iPhone, Legal, News, security, Software

encryption

The plot may yet become even more intricate when it comes to states require backdoors into encryption.

A bipartisan bill introduced to the U.S. House of Represenatives on Wednesday would bar individual states and localities from requiring backdoors in encryption, something often demanded by law enforcement officials and intelligence agencies.

The ENCRYPT Act, sponsored Democrat Ted Lieu and Republican Blake Farenthold, was crafted in direct response to proposed rules in New York and California that would require companies to be able to decrypt smartphones.

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“It is completely technologically unworkable for individual states to mandate different encryption standards in consumer products,” said Lieu. “Apple can’t make a different smartphone for California and New York and the rest of the country.”

Support for the bill has been said to have originated from FBI Director James Comey, who has regularly stated that encryption could interfere with investigations and police observation. On Tuesday, Comey appeared in front of a Senate panel, where he said that investigators were still unable to access the contents of a phone belonging to one of the shooters responsible for the Dec. 2 massacre in San Bernardino, Calif.

Companies like Apple have put their own pressure on U.S. politicians, arguing that leaving holes in encryption would simply make intrusion easier for malicious hackers and/or government surveillance.

The encryption in iOS 8 and iOS 9 is so stringent that even when served with a warrant, Apple claims it can’t crack a passcode-protected device. Later versions of Google’s Android OS support similar levels of encryption, though it may sometimes have to be enabled manually.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via AppleInsider and Reuters

Researcher finds Sparkle framework vulnerability, highlights popular apps that could be exploited

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 10th, 2016, 08:31
Category: News, OS X, security, Software, Yosemite

trojanhorse

Well, this is a mess.

A “huge” number of third-party Mac apps are under threat of man-in-the-middle attacks due to a recently discovered vulnerability in Sparkle, an open source framework used to facilitate software updates.

The flaw, which centered around a flawed WebKit rendering engine implementation found in certain Sparkle builds, is to blame for the newly discovered attack that allows malicious users to insert and execute JavaScript code when affected app check for software updates.

Along with a flawed Sparkle version, vulnerable apps must also be running an unencrypted HTTP channel to receive software updates from offsite servers. This can allow other users to capture network traffic and thereby run malicious code on a target computer. The exploit has been cited by a software engineer called “Radek”, who confirmed the exploit affects apps running on the latest versions of OS X 10.11 El Capitan and OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

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