Would it be any easier for the FBI to crack Android?

By on March 31, 2016 at 2:11 PM.

Would it be any easier for the FBI to crack Android?

Much has been written about the massive fight between the FBI and Apple over encryption in the high-profile San Bernardino shooting case. Apple has won the battle for the time being, though the FBI has managed to break into the phone without Apple’s help. What’s more, the Bureau will soon help hack into other iOS devices that law enforcement agencies across the country want to unlock.

Can the FBI do the same thing with Android devices? More →

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FBI Unlock iPhone Criminal Case

It has begun: The FBI will unlock other iPhones in criminal investigations

By on March 31, 2016 at 7:15 AM.

It has begun: The FBI will unlock other iPhones in criminal investigations

We were wondering whether the FBI will agree to use in other cases the same hack that unlocked the San Bernardino iPhone just earlier this week, and it turns out the agency is more than willing to share its newly acquired know-how to help other law enforcement agencies solve their on-going investigations. Just days after it confirmed it didn’t need Apple to access the local files of the iPhone 5c that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters, the FBI agreed to assist an Arkansas prosecutor unlock an iPhone and iPod that may contain relevant evidence to a double homicide case. More →

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Apple FBI iPhone Hack

How Apple could force the FBI to explain San Bernardino iPhone hack

By on March 30, 2016 at 6:50 AM.

How Apple could force the FBI to explain San Bernardino iPhone hack

Apple beat the FBI this week, as it avoided a legal battle against the law enforcement agency over creating a backdoor into the San Bernardino iPhone. The war on encryption isn’t over yet, as both parties aren’t necessarily happy with this temporary solution. For the FBI, accessing the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters is crucial, but doesn’t solve its bigger problem: spying on encrypted communications or devices. Apple, on the other hand, is reportedly working on beefing up iPhone security. But for now, it has one other problem: the world knows there is a way to get peek at the data stored on an encrypted iPhone without knowing the PIN or password.

The FBI did not say whether it’ll share the vulnerability it discovered and successfully used on the San Bernardino iPhone 5c, with the help of an unnamed security company. But Apple might be able to use other legal cases that involve iPhones to force the Bureau to explain the hack. More →

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Apple FBI Hack San Bernardino iPhone Hack

Apple can’t force the FBI to reveal how it broke into the San Bernardino iPhone

By on March 29, 2016 at 7:35 PM.

Apple can’t force the FBI to reveal how it broke into the San Bernardino iPhone

The FBI confirmed on Monday what many people suspected: The San Bernardino iPhone can be unlocked without Apple’s help.

Using the services of a security company familiar with the inner workings of iOS 9 and the iPhone, the FBI cracked Apple’s security features. The agency bypassed the San Bernardino iPhone’s encryption and was able to retrieve the data stored on the iPhone using a mysterious technique that rendered phone’s the PIN protection useless.

As much as it would obviously like to, Apple can’t force the FBI to disclose the security hole, which means others could use a similar hack to break into iPhones in the future until Apple discovers the vulnerability and patches it. More →

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Apple FBI iPhone Encryption War

Read Apple’s full response to the FBI: ‘This case should never have been brought’

By on March 29, 2016 at 7:15 AM.

Read Apple’s full response to the FBI: ‘This case should never have been brought’

Apple won a first battle against the FBI over iPhone encryption this week, as the law enforcement agency decided to back off in the San Bernardino case. The war is far from being over, as Apple will almost certainly have to face off against the FBI in the future. And that’s just one of Apple’s problems. Let’s not forget that a third party did for the FBI what Apple wouldn’t. That means there’s a way to bypass iPhone encryption that sidesteps Apple, and the Cupertino crew has no idea what it is.

Meanwhile, Apple issued a response to the FBI that follows below, in full. More →

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Apple iPhone Encryption Hacking

Even Apple uses tech from the company allegedly helping the FBI crack an iPhone

By on March 25, 2016 at 9:45 PM.

Even Apple uses tech from the company allegedly helping the FBI crack an iPhone

There’s an entire industry devoted to cracking the iPhone and other smartphones. These companies operate mostly in the dark, offering their services to clients when other methods of retrieving data from a gadget fail. Cellebrite is one of the companies with experience in cracking devices including the iPhone, and the security firm os believed to have inked a deal with the FBI to crack the San Bernardino iPhone 5c.

If true, it would be a bit ironic because Cellebrite also counts Apple among its customers. More →

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Apple FBI San Bernardino iPhone Hack

4 reasons why the FBI unlocking the San Bernardino iPhone without Apple is bad news

By on March 25, 2016 at 7:45 AM.

4 reasons why the FBI unlocking the San Bernardino iPhone without Apple is bad news

The government is confident it can hack into the San Bernardino iPhone 5c without Apple’s help, at least according to statements made on Thursday. The FBI and DOJ have not detailed how the hackers who came forward with the proposal to help will do it, and it’s too early to know for sure whether the procedure will work.

Even though you might think it’s great news to hear that Apple doesn’t have to fight a court order to break its own encryption, there are reasons to worry. More →

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Apple FBI San Bernardino iPhone Encryption

Apple may not like the FBI’s new alternative to ‘GovtOS’

By on March 24, 2016 at 10:00 PM.

Apple may not like the FBI’s new alternative to ‘GovtOS’

The FBI has seemingly admitted defeat to Apple in its quest to force the company to build an insecure version of its OS to load onto the iPhone owned by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. And that might be a good thing. However, a public court battle between Apple and the FBI might have been a lot better, even if Apple risked being forced to unlock the iPhone.

More →

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iPhone Spying Apple iCloud

Apple can’t really prevent the scary way spies might tap into iPhone data

By on March 24, 2016 at 1:47 PM.

Apple can’t really prevent the scary way spies might tap into iPhone data

Apple may have won its first major battle with intelligence and law enforcement agencies, at least in the public eye. But the iPhone encryption wars are far from over, and there’s no telling whether the FBI will indeed stop from harassing the company about creating backdoors into its software. Furthermore, there’s no telling what the NSA can already do when it comes to encrypted iPhones, and Apple is apparently worried that spies may have an out-of-the-box way to tap into iPhone data — one that doesn’t require court orders, public debates or new legislation.

It’s all very simple for intelligence agencies, and very scary for everyone else: Spies could be adding backdoors to Apple’s cloud. More →

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Google Microsoft IETF Email Encryption

Google, Microsoft and others team to make email fully encrypted

By on March 22, 2016 at 11:00 PM.

Google, Microsoft and others team to make email fully encrypted

When you send an email to someone, it goes through something called Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), a standard that was first developed in the 1980s and that lacks the ability to fully encrypt our messages. Because of this, a group of engineers from several different companies — including from Microsoft, Google, Comcast and LinkedIn — are working on a new proposal that would update the standard to ensure full encryption for all email messages. More →

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Apple Google Microsoft Data Protection Encryption

Despite big branding push, Apple is about as trusted on privacy as Google and Microsoft

By on March 22, 2016 at 7:00 PM.

Despite big branding push, Apple is about as trusted on privacy as Google and Microsoft

Apple is adamant that its iPhones and Macs protect user privacy better than competing products, and the recent fight with the FBI shows the company isn’t willing to back down from its software security principles without a fight. However, a recent poll reveals that customers don’t think Apple can defend their data any better than competing companies, including Google, Amazon or Microsoft.

More →

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Paris Attacks iPhone Encryption

Paris attackers didn’t use encrypted iPhones or Internet services

By on March 22, 2016 at 7:00 AM.

Paris attackers didn’t use encrypted iPhones or Internet services

March 22nd, 2016, will be remembered as the day when attackers hit other targets in Europe, with bombs killing at least 13 people at the Brussels airport and injuring more than 30. In the U.S., March 22nd should have been the day of a terrorism-related court hearing in the FBI vs. Apple encryption battle, though that hearing is now postponed.

So does encryption protect terrorists who plan bombings such as the ones in Brussels, Ankara, Paris, and other cities? Yes, it probably does. But investigators in the Paris case have found out that it’s not encrypted iPhones or Android devices, and it’s not encrypted Internet services that helped attackers carry out a highly choreographed attack on the French capital. Instead, they used disposable, burner phones, which they kept changing on a regular basis.

More →

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Apple FBI iPhone Encryption History

Report reveals the FBI’s fight with Apple dates back years

By on March 21, 2016 at 6:30 PM.

Report reveals the FBI’s fight with Apple dates back years

The current legal squabble between Apple and the FBI over encryption has immense ramifications for the future of privacy and security. The FBI is indeed right to want access to information that could help prevent terrorism. But Apple is also right to point out that any backdoor into the iPhone has dangerous consequences, as malicious individuals will seek to exploit those same security holes. Not to mention that Apple complying with the FBI’s demands will set a precedent that could affect all similar cases in the future.

The Apple vs. FBI conflict isn’t new, and a new report reveals the hidden war between the two sides for the past two years. More →

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