Apple Fights FBI Over Disabling Security In San Bernadino Case - InformationWeek

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Apple Fights FBI Over Disabling Security In San Bernadino Case
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Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
2/18/2016 | 9:32:42 AM
Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
When this hit the news yesterday, I saw it shared by connections both in favor of Apple's position and opposed to it. The techy ones tend to favor it. As I told one of them, he should have no problem as he is generally a Libertarian in his outlook. But I wonder how people who regard Rand's views as the ultimate evil square that with their beloved company paraphrasing the type of argument one would hear from John Galt, particularly in the line, "And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect."
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
2/18/2016 | 12:05:17 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
This was the hot topic in the office yesterday, and everyone is eagered to see how it plays out.

Ariella, as you mention I think most techies are on Apple's side, where we fully understanding the implications that the governments request can have if pursued (or forced to do)

When this story was shown yesterday on the news, I was reminded by Blackberry on how they dealt with a similar incident in Pakistan. What's curious is that the Government has used Blackberry purely because of it's security features, so it's strange that they are no asking to try and breach it.

I think the outcome will be more on a better awareness of how mobile communications should be viewed in general, and what limitations there exists. I think Apple's stand has a lot of weight, since even though the reason for the govermens request is understanble, as mentioned, the outcome is just will have a far more negative reach than just this scenario.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
2/18/2016 | 12:35:33 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
@mejac Yes, Apple is arguing from the point of view of precedent. The question is: what move will the FBI make now? Will it  be content to let it go,  or will it bring a lot more pressure on the company? 
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
2/18/2016 | 2:42:27 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
@Ariella,

I was discussing this with a former police officer, and he thinks there's a 51% change this will go all the way to the supreme court.

I think the government will try to pressure apple, and Apple's lawyers will stand there ground.... I don't think this will settle anytime soon either, since he explained that these types of disputes are extensive, since it's a matter of both interpretation and protecting customers privacy (which in itself its'a delicate matter)
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
2/18/2016 | 2:54:36 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
@mejac tht could be quite something as far as precedent goes.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
2/18/2016 | 3:47:08 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
Correct me if I'm wrong though, and I haven't been able to adequately research, but didn't Apple willingly comply with these types of orders several times in the past for much lesser offenses? 
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
2/18/2016 | 4:00:28 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
@vnewman2 Apple says it has cooperated in terms of providing  any data they have. But what the FBI wants in this case is a way to get at what's on the phone via new Apple software that would prevent the data wipe from happening when oo many wrong passwords are entered. 
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
2/18/2016 | 4:08:05 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
Right, but Tim Cook is arguing the action based on principle, "And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect."  I mean, is this really the case you want to take THAT kind of position on?
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
2/18/2016 | 4:11:24 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
@vnewman He means the principle of protecting the integrity of the privacy set up for the iPhone user. He fears that setting up this opening for this phone can lead to any phone being cracked. He certainly does not mean to say that he doesn't believe in helping the government out but that he draws the line at this.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
2/18/2016 | 4:59:41 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
@Ariella - I totally understand that.  But then why have they complied in the past to similar requests that end up resulting in basically the same end (in one case it was a meth dealer's phone).  Isn't that still invading privacy?  Does it matter where the information comes from?  If they hand it over from the cloud how is that really different from the phone itself?  The end result I mean...
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
2/18/2016 | 9:41:04 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
@vnewman in Cook's eyes, it's different if they have the data in their possession and agree to hand it over when warranted. 

BTW I came across this: an offer from Mcafee to hack the phone for the FBI and a promise that his team could get it done in 3 weeks From http://www.businessinsider.com/john-mcafee-ill-decrypt-san-bernardino-phone-for-free-2016-2:

So here is my offer to the FBI. I will, free of charge, decrypt the information on the San Bernardino phone, with my team. We will primarily use social engineering, and it will take us three weeks. If you accept my offer, then you will not need to ask Apple to place a back door in its product, which will be the beginning of the end of America.

If you doubt my credentials, Google "cybersecurity legend" and see whose name is the only name that appears in the first 10 results out of more than a quarter of a million.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
2/19/2016 | 1:03:59 AM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
I don't disagree with your assessment. As a matter of fact, Steve Wozniak just commented that 'Steve Jobs would have fought for privacy' and would have defied court order to hack terrorists' iPhone. Tim and Steve are cut from the same cloth so it's not really surprising to me. But also, if you read Cook's statement, he basically said the Feds want Apple to build an entirely new iOS to accomplish this, which is a little hard to believe. John McAfee is definitely a loose cannon but I personally believe him when he says his team could do it.
hewenthatway
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hewenthatway,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/19/2016 | 1:49:18 AM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
You should always restrict data transfer within the hardware.  Sure, you can always bypass software, but as far as the brute forcing a device that expires after 10 attempts...ther FBI had to call for help on this one.  It will set a precedent if apple has their engineers work on this.  It's a rare feeling, taking up for apple, but they are doing the right thing here.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
2/19/2016 | 9:43:46 AM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
@vnewman I think that writing instructors couldn't ask for a better real life topic to assign students working on writing arguments or preparing debates. I really can see merit for both sides. Sometimes, though, the position publicly taken for or against is somewhat surprising. I didin't expect the Financial Times to come out against Apple, but it did so here: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/58dd0688-d63c-11e5-829b-8564e7528e54.html?ftcamp=social/free_to_read/FT_view_Apple_/awareness/editorial&segid=0100320#axzz40cnz1xPs:

 

 
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
2/19/2016 | 1:11:54 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
McAfee is good but issue for 3rd party is any o/s update must have a valid digital signature from Apple. That is awesome approach, if Win and Linux had something like that then malware would not be nearly as effective.

If McAfee can truly spoof this digital signature, God help us all.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
2/19/2016 | 1:55:00 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
Not to be a consirpacy theorist here, but playing Devil's Advocate:

Don't you think that some of this may have to do with the fact that Apple won't be able to sell iPhones in China if they comply with this request and they will lose mega bucks from it?  Think about it - the Chinese goverment certainly doesn't trust the US goverment and if China knows we can backdoor phones they could easily ban their sale?   Thoughts?
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
2/19/2016 | 2:16:37 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
Well, they certainly won't be able to sell them in Iraq and Syria, that's for sure. :-)  Seriously, that's a huge part of issue. Europe takes their privacy much more seriously than we seem to anymore, much less rivals like China and Iran for security reasons.

What makes this hard is it is in response to terriost incident. 100% of Americans would like to see inside that phone in this particular case. Same would true if this was child porn, slave trading, or any number of crimes all people agree are despicable.

The problem is setting this precedent then opens it up to any activity the government wants to apply it to. If this crime was illegal bookmaking on the Super Bowl, would FBI be asking to crack the phone? Would everyone still feel same way about it then when maybe they were one of millions who placed a bet? It's a very slippery slope here.

Personally, I'm not sure what they think they'll find anyway. Does it really matter at this point if their next stop was the YMCA to shoot people working out? We already know they were freaking crazy. They can already get phone call records or anything else traveling thru servers. What do they think is on that SIM that would help us stop the next radical lunatic like this?
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
2/19/2016 | 5:34:34 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
"What makes this hard is it is in response to terriost incident. 100% of Americans would like to see inside that phone in this particular case."

True.

"The problem is setting this precedent then opens it up to any activity the government wants to apply it to"

Also true.

"What do they think is on that SIM that would help us stop the next radical lunatic like this?"

I'm guessing they want to see who else they were talking to and get contact information.

But this is starting to become a made-for-TV movie now - with the Justice Department calling it a marketing ploy by Apple and Trump calling for a Boycott.  Next we will see a hologram of Jobs calling for a goverment coup.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
2/18/2016 | 4:31:48 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
I'm going to take the high road on this and comment as the Madison Avenue - The Onion - Mad Magazine would:

 

New Sales Pitch:

The iPhone

Favored by Terrorists Around the World!

 
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
2/18/2016 | 5:14:13 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
@jastroff - Insert "Laughing so hard I'm crying emoticon" - or shall I say "Crying with tears of joy" emoticon? :)
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
2/18/2016 | 6:56:18 PM
Re: Apple takes a page out of Ayn Rand's books
thanks. It was an easy pot shot, but sadly, also true.
theb0x
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theb0x,
User Rank: Strategist
2/20/2016 | 11:52:52 AM
Backdoor iOS
The concept of backdooring iOS on this particular iphone may pose to be more difficult than described for several reasons.

1) Built by design, all of Apple's iphones require a WiFi connection for the firmware to be pushed due to the nature of it's large file size.

2) WiFi must be enabled on this phone, and the broadcast of existing wireless APs connected to must be sniffed with a utility such as Airodump-ng or Kismet. Upon obtaining this list of these APs, a rogue AP must be crafted to fool the phone to connect and authenticate to this rogue AP.  Unless this is accompished, this phone cannot be backdoored.

3) In order to leave all other consumers iphones to remain unaffected by this firmware update, this may also require a specially crafted cell tower simulator to notify the target phone of this update containing a digitally forged sig and push it.

 

 


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