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San Bernardino Police: Reasonably Good Chance Nothing Of Value On Shooter's iPhone (businessinsider.com) 110

San Bernardino police chief, Jarrod Burguan, who was part of the investigation into the two shooters who killed 14 during a mass shooting event last December, says there probably isn't any useful information on Syed Farook's government-issued phone. "I'll be honest with you, I think there is a reasonably good chance that there is nothing of any value on the phone," Burguan said. Burguan is siding with the FBI, though, which is seeking to compel Apple to build custom software to allow law enforcement to extract data from Farook's phone. "This is an effort to leave no stone unturned in the investigation," Burguan told NPR. "To allow this phone to sit there, and not make an effort to get the information or the data that may be inside of that phone is simply not fair to the victims or the families."
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San Bernardino Police: Reasonably Good Chance Nothing Of Value On Shooter's iPhone

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  • More than likely (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ickleberry ( 864871 ) <web@pineapple.vg> on Saturday February 27, 2016 @03:52PM (#51599695) Homepage
    They already know there is nothing on it but selfies but they want to get people used to the idea of 'Feds' extracting data from people's iPhones, or else just give would-be terr'ists the idea that their data is secure, when Apple has in fact implemented a backdoor years ago
  • by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @03:56PM (#51599717)

    Even if there's no worthwhile information, the phone is still of immense value to those who want to take what's left of our privacy. You know, the same people who have us taking off our shoes in airports, in a security theatre exercise that would be farcical if it wasn't doing such a good job of making compliance with authoritarian demands a knee-jerk reflex among the citizenry.

    • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @04:18PM (#51599827) Homepage

      Yes, this has nothing to do with the particular phone in question other than it's from an honest-to-Allah terrorist. It is a 100% lie-through-the-teeth publicity stunt by the FBI.

      Nothing to see here, move along.

    • Even if there's no worthwhile information, the phone is still of immense value to those who want to take what's left of our privacy. You know, the same people who have us taking off our shoes in airports, in a security theatre exercise that would be farcical if it wasn't doing such a good job of making compliance with authoritarian demands a knee-jerk reflex among the citizenry.

      According to the article, this is a government issued phone, issued by his employer. As such, there is no "privacy" issue as anything on the phone belongs to the government. If this was his personal phone, that might be a different situation. But, now, after hearing this, it sounds like the government is asking Apple to allow them into their own phone that may have data related to a crime that one of their employees committed. That is not a personal privacy issue.

      • So, let the FBI open the phone. They have every right to do that. What they DON'T have the right to do is to conscript Apple to write custom software specifically for this task. The software to do this DOES NOT EXIST. It would have to be written, tested (although the literal order of the court would prohibit any testing, because the software that Apple is ordered to create may ONLY work on the subject device and NO OTHER, precluding any testing on any other iPhone 5C), and the Feds expect Apple to do thi

        • So, let the FBI open the phone. They have every right to do that. What they DON'T have the right to do is to conscript Apple to write custom software specifically for this task. The software to do this DOES NOT EXIST. It would have to be written, tested (although the literal order of the court would prohibit any testing, because the software that Apple is ordered to create may ONLY work on the subject device and NO OTHER, precluding any testing on any other iPhone 5C), and the Feds expect Apple to do this work for free.

          If I were Tim Cook, I'd say "We'd be happy to decrypt that phone for you. The Professional Services cost for this will be TEN BILLION DOLLARS, payable in advance. My programmers will begin work as soon as your check clears."

          Those are two separate issues -- the unlocking of THIS phone versus EVERY phone. Apple won't even unlock this phone. Actually, they were not asked to, they were asked to remove the feature that automatically slows down retry attempts and then wipes the phone if still unsuccessful. According to the court records, Apple refused to do that so the FBI went to the courts for a remedy. That's how the system is supposed to work.

          If Apple tried to charge an enormous fee like you suggest, it would probably result i

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        According to the article, this is a government issued phone, issued by his employer. As such, there is no "privacy" issue as anything on the phone belongs to the government. If this was his personal phone, that might be a different situation. But, now, after hearing this, it sounds like the government is asking Apple to allow them into their own phone that may have data related to a crime that one of their employees committed. That is not a personal privacy issue.

        This IS a personal privacy issue. Not so muc

  • Why "not fair"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday February 27, 2016 @04:02PM (#51599749)

    "To allow this phone to sit there, and not make an effort to get the information or the data that may be inside of that phone is simply not fair to the victims or the families."

    Why is it "not fair"?

    You know who did it.
    You know why they did it.
    You know that they are now dead.

    Why would it be more "fair" to the families of the victims to destroy the security of everyone using an iPhone?

    And yes, the tech would leak out. And be abused. Today "terrorists" and tomorrow everyone.

    • Don't forget that some of the families of the victims have come out against the FBI forcing Apple to do this.

    • I agree with the principle that the victims and their family are no more important that any other citizen when it comes to the legal system's obligations to protect, investigate and prosecute, because in such crimes the attack was against your entire society, way of life, and political system.

      As for your view that your phone is currently secure, well that is just naivety, the problem is that the cost involved in cracking it open safely is very high. It is not a question of if it is possible. The FBI just
  • Question. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @04:25PM (#51599853)

    I'm not an iPhone user so I thought I'd ask. Wouldn't Apple have to push out an update to this phone to implement what the FBI wants - unlimited password attempts w/o bricking the phone? If so, can this absolutely be done w/o the owner's consent? It seems that I can disable auto-updates on my Android phone and/or restrict updates to be over WiFi only - both of which would require manual intervention to initiate.

    • Re:Question. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bite The Pillow ( 3087109 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @04:56PM (#51600037)

      This could be done without the owner's consent, and shipped to everyone. Apple does not want to do that at all costs. And you could disable auto-updates, knowing that a device without updates is not secure. So you would be pwned either way, likely.

      The FBI is willing to allow Apple to send an update to this specific phone, in an Apple lab, while Apple retains custody of the phone, as long as the data on the phone can be copied and given to the FBI.

      In this case, the owner cannot consent and the phone is prosecutorial evidence, so the owner need not consent. And if a warrant were issued to compel Apple to send out an *existing* backdoor to gather evidence, Apple might have no choice but comply, with a probable gag order so the user is not notified.

      Ergo, Apple wants to avoid creating this backdoor in the first place, so they can legit claim it doesn't exist for future requests.

      The fun part of this is that the prosecution is willing to burn this bridge, and encourage Apple to redesign the security so this can't happen in the future. Capturing an Apple master signing key wouldn't be enough to make a backdoor this way, if Apple succeeds. Knowing in advance that the evidence would probably not help makes it head-scratching that they would go so far to basically declare in public what their capability is for reclaiming encrypted data.

      Now everyone knows:

      1) Disabling cloud sync means the data is on the device only
      2) Apple currently won't make a backdoor
      3) Feds don't have a backdoor
      4) Future phones will likely not even be able to be backdoored

      This is very much Snowden level releasing of national security secrets to enemies, only it's being done in public for no gain. Which makes it really fishy, unless some prosecutor really believed that this request would result in no change in technology nor blowback from the tech world. Which is the opposite claimed by everything about the Snowden files, so he can't claim ignorance. Given that the tech world moved to encryption because of Snowden's revelations as well as intrusions and data dumps, that's exceedingly bizarre.

      • Re:Question. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @09:15PM (#51601321) Journal
        In this case, the owner cannot consent

        The owner has consented. It's the property of a county in California, not the terrorist. The county has already given permission to search the phone.

        The problem is some lazy ass person within the county IT department never bothered to load the MDM software, which they had paid for, on the phone. This software would have allowed the county to say, "You want to see what's on the phone? Give us ten seconds."

        I used to manage iPhones for a government agency I worked for. On a few occasions I had to use MDM software to unlock someone's phone or even reset their password. This could have been over a long time ago had someone done their job.
    • A new version of iOS can be be uploaded to a phone when it's put into DFU mode without a passcode and without wiping out the data.

      Have a read here for more info. [daringfireball.net]

    • I'm not an iPhone user so I thought I'd ask. Wouldn't Apple have to push out an update to this phone to implement what the FBI wants - unlimited password attempts w/o bricking the phone? If so, can this absolutely be done w/o the owner's consent? It seems that I can disable auto-updates on my Android phone and/or restrict updates to be over WiFi only - both of which would require manual intervention to initiate.

      The have the owners consent. San Bernardino County is the owner. The killer was an employee of San Bernardino County, and the phone is his works phone.

      The question is: Can Apple, on Apple's premises, with the phone in their hands, with more knowledge of how an iPhone works than anyone else, possibly with tools that nobody outside Apple has, update the firmware of a phone that is locked with an unknown passcode? The answer is: Nobody really knows, and Apple tries very hard not to be forced to find out.

      • The Court's order is quite specific; the hack must only run on the target device and no others. That means that Apple is prohibited from testing the hack to see if it works. That also means that the court is, as usual, shooting off their mouths knowing virtually nothing about technology.

  • Stupid argument. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <barbarahudsononline AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday February 27, 2016 @04:27PM (#51599857) Journal
    NOTHING will help the dead or their families. Playing that card is craven and crass.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It was government issued and the government didn't know the password?

    WTF

  • "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine"

  • by rwyoder ( 759998 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @08:32PM (#51601169)

    ...as exciting as watching Geraldo Rivera opening Al Capone's vault!

    • Exactly! And since Farook took special pains to destroy his own PERSONAL iPhone, but did nothing to his WORK iPhone, I am confident that if the FBI ever does get into the phone, they'll find nothing in it except the San Bernardino Department of Health roster of phone numbers (some of which will be out of date) and records of calls that he had made to his clients and co-workers.

      And perhaps some text messages like "Mrs. Jones wants to reschedule your 3 o'clock appointment for next week".

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