FBI

Apple and others join Google in resisting FBI warrant seeking emails stored outside US

Business Insider reports that Apple has joined Amazon, Microsoft and Cisco in filing a joint amicus brief in support of Google’s opposition to a warrant by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seeking to extract emails stored on non-US servers.

In response to the FBI warrant, a court in Pennsylvania recently ruled that Google must hand over emails stored on non-US servers. The joint filing claims the warrant could set a troubling precedent and force Google to violate foreign data privacy laws.

Cops obtain a warrant demanding individuals unlock iPhones with their fingerprint

California’s top cops seem to have obtained a questionable warrant request to enter a residence and force anyone inside to use biometric information to open their fingerprint-locked iPhones purely on the assumption they’ll learn more after they access the phones, Forbes reported this morning.

Deemed as “an unprecedented attempt to bypass the security of Apple’s iPhones,” Forbes found a court filing in which the Department of Justice sought to search a Lancaster, California, property.

Apple brings back security expert Jon Callas following FBI dispute

Apple this month brought back software engineer and top expert in practical cryptography Jon Callas, reports Reuters. The move follows Apple’s high-profile battle with the FBI, and amidst a growing war between governments and tech firms over encryption.

Callas worked at Apple in the ’90s, and again between 2009 and 2011, when he designed encryption to protect data stored on Mac computers. He rejoined the company in May, to help add more powerful security features to its wide range of consumer products.

FBI paid more than $1.3 million for San Bernardino iPhone hack

FBI Director James Comey said on Thursday that the agency paid more to break into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone than he’ll make in the remaining 7+ years of his tenure. Reuters crunched the numbers, and that suggests that the FBI paid more than $1.3 million for the hack.

That seems like a lot of money for a tool that doesn’t work on the iPhone 5s or newer, but  speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in London today, the Director said that he believes it was worth it. And of course the FBI will be able to use the tool in other case involving older iPhones.

Apple says it refused Chinese demand for iOS source code

Apple declined to provide Chinese officials with access to iOS source code, General counsel Bruce Sewell said on Tuesday at a subcommittee hearing on encryption. “We have been asked by the Chinese government. We refused.”

Sewell said the request had come in the last two years, and noted several times that Apple has not cooperated with China on that level. Some lawmakers have questioned whether or not Apple has given the country special treatment.

FBI confirms a tool it bought to unlock terrorist’s iPhone 5c does not work on iPhone 5s and newer

James Comey, Director of the Federal Bureau of iPhones—that is, Investigation—confirmed in an interview with CNN yesterday that a tool that the agency had purchased from a third-party to unlock San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone 5c cannot be used to bypass security protections on newer models, from the iPhone 5s onward.

This implies the tool relies on the fact that the iPhone 5c and earlier models lack hardware features like the Secure Enclave embedded in Apple’s mobile processors (from the iPhone 5s’s A7 chip and onward) which keeps encrypted sensitive information and stuff like the number of passcode attempts isolated from the rest of the system.

DOJ unlocks San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, withdraws case against Apple

The Department of Justice filed a request on Monday, asking the court to vacate its order to compel Apple to assist agents in unlocking an iPhone. As expected, the FBI was able to crack the handset without the company’s assistance.

The filing comes a week after the DOJ asked the court to postpone its hearing with Apple, claiming it had found a possible method for accessing the data stored on an iPhone 5c, which belonged to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook.