FBI Discovers It Can Access that iPhone After All

Dec 2013
Beware of watermelons
In a third-act twist worthy of M. Night Shyamalan, the FBI has announced that it has just discovered a method, provided by an unnamed “third party,” of breaking into deceased San Bernardino shooting suspect Syed Farook’s iPhone without help from Apple. As a result, the hearing at which Apple and DOJ lawyers were scheduled to square off today has been postponed for at least two weeks while the Bureau tests out this “new” approach, potentially rendering the legal battle with Cupertino moot.

The scare quotes in the previous sentence are there to signal my skepticism that there is a genuinely novel in play here—which matters because the FBI has been consistently representing to the courts that Apple’s assistance, and an order to compel that assistance, was “necessary” to access the data—which is to say, that the FBI had no viable alternative methods to decrypt the contents of the phone. Yet from the beginning of the public debate over this case, the technical experts I’ve consulted with have consistently pointed to two distinct approaches the Bureau might employ that wouldn’t require Apple to write or authenticate a line of code.

First, there are potential methods of extracting the phone’s UID—a secret master encryption key physically embedded in the processors of iOS devices. With that key, which is designed to be difficult to read and unknown even to Apple, the FBI could crack the encryption protecting the iPhone data in a matter of minutes. Though cumbersome, time-consuming, and expensive, these methods would almost certainly still be cheaper than a protracted legal battle with a deep-pocketed tech titan—though they would also inherently carry some risk of destroying the key information, rendering the iPhone data permanently inaccessible.

The second and more plausible method was described in some detail weeks ago by ACLU technology fellow Daniel Kahn Gillmor, and even referenced by Rep. Darrell Issa at recent hearing with FBI director James Comey. Read Gillmor’s post for the details, but in essence it involves removing the phone’s “effaceable storage” to make a backup copy of the key material that is erased to render the phone’s data permanently inaccessible after too many incorrect passcode guesses. When FBI hits their guess limit, they “re-flash” the backed-up data to the phone and get another round of guesses. Security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski’s argues cogently that this is the most probable option.

FBI Discovers It Can Access that iPhone After All
Jul 2009

THIS WHOLE THING WITH APPLE WAS A FLASE FLAG TO TRY AND FOOL THE SHEEPLE!! (Which worked,I had several sheeple saying "See they cant access it")

  • Like
Reactions: 2 people