FBI

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.

DOJ postpones Apple hearing, says it has possible method to unlock iPhone

The Department of Justice on Monday asked to postpone a court hearing set for tomorrow on the high profile case of whether or not Apple should be forced to help the FBI break into an iPhone, reports Politico. Their request was granted.

For months, the DOJ has insisted they needed Apple’s help to break into the handset, as part of an ongoing terrorism investigation. Apple has steadfastly resisted, citing dangerous precedent, but the government may not need its help after all.

Apple’s event kicks off with talk of encryption battle, environmental impact, health and more

Tim Cook on Monday kicked off Apple’s long-awaited March media event with his usual introduction. The CEO’s first announcement was that Apple now has 1 billion devices being using around the globe, and then as expected, he took a moment to briefly talk about the company’s ongoing fight with the FBI over encryption.

Cook thanked everyone for their support of Apple in what he believes is one of the biggest privacy battles of our generation. He then brought up Apple’s VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, to talk about Apple’s progress in reducing its environmental impact. We have more highlights from the intro below.

DOJ threatened to seize iOS source code unless Apple complies with court order in FBI case

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has slid a disturbing footnote in its court filing against Apple that could be interpreted as a threat to seize the iOS source code unless Apple complies with a court order in the FBI case.

The DoJ is demanding that Apple create a special version of iOS with removed security features that would permit the FBI to run brute-force passcode attempts on the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5c.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has made public where he stands on the Apple vs. FBI case, which has quickly become a heated national debate.

Apple-FBI fight over iPhone backdoor, security and encryption gets a comedic treatment

Apple’s fight against the United States government and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over circumventing encryption and creating a backdoor into the iPhone has received a comedic treatment in a segment on the Last Week Tonight show by comedian Jon Oliver.

In a mock Apple ad, Oliver rehashes controversial quotes from government officials, as well as Donald Trump’s iPhone boycott idea and District Attorney Daniel Conley’s Kennedy quote of sending a man to the moon.

Eddy Cue: what if FBI forces Apple to spy on users via iPhone’s camera or microphone?

Not a day goes by without one of Apple’s executives reaffirming the company’s position on encryption. In a new Spanish-language interview with Univision, Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, made the case against the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) gaining additional surveillance powers.

Were the government to force Apple to create a version of iOS with decreased security, nothing would prevent it from seeking other concessions, Cue said.

“For example, one day the FBI may want us to open your phone’s camera, microphone,” he cautioned. “Those are things we can’t do now. But if they can force us to do that, I think that’s very bad.”