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  • Government opens Farook's Apple iPhone 5c without Apple's help

Government opens Farook's Apple iPhone 5c without Apple's help

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Government opens Farook's Apple iPhone 5c without Apple's help
The Justice Department announced today that it was able to open up the Apple iPhone 5c that was used by deceased terrorist Syed Farook, without Apple's help. Suspecting that there might be some clues inside the phone about the San Bernardino attack that killed 14, the Justice Department asked Apple to turn over all information it could pull out of the handset that Farook had used. But Apple said that it was unable to do so without building a new version of iOS that was quickly dubbed Govt. OS. Apple was concerned that if it developed Govt.OS, the code would come out allowing hackers to steal personal information from iPhone users around the world.

Apple's decision not to comply with a court order forcing them to unlock the device became a nationwide issue; many sided with Apple, and others were unsure why Apple wasn't punished for contempt of court. A court hearing that was going to be held last Tuesday was canceled after the Justice Department announced out of nowhere that it had found a third party to unlock the phone.

The Justice Department released a two paragraph statement today saying that the government has successfully accessed the data on Farook's phone and no longer required assistance from Apple. Thus, it was a win-win situation. The feds get their data, and Apple does not have to risk the privacy of all iPhone users world wide. But the battle will still go on. Last month, a federal magistrate judge in the Eastern District of New York refused a government request to force Apple to open an Apple iPhone 5s to release information in a drug case in Brooklyn. The Justice Department is appealing that ruling.

The government is remaining silent on how it unlocked Farook's iPhone 5c. Late last week, there was some talk that Israeli software company Cellebrite had entered into a $15,000 contract with the FBI for the purpose of opening the phone, but that has not been confirmed. Some believe that Apple should be given the opportunity to find out how the phone was opened so that it can close the opening and make the phone secure again. But considering how badly the government wanted to unlock this phone, and how it might need to unlock more iPhones in the future, we don't expect the government to be open to that suggestion.

Now that the phone has been opened, the Justice Department has officially dropped its legal case against Apple.

The Government opens Farook's iPhone 5c without help from Apple

The Government opens Farook's iPhone 5c without help from Apple


source: NYTimes

98 Comments
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posted on 28 Mar 2016, 21:19 43

1. Unordinary (Posts: 1285; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


They finally tried 1234

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 21:26 9

5. Johnnokia (Posts: 1074; Member since: 27 May 2012)


LOL
The whole US government and FBI took that long time to unlock an iPhone; This makes feel the iOS is pretty safe enough and couldn't be hacked easily.
Before this case, I really didn't expect the iOS that secure at all!

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 21:35 13

8. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4274; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


They only really started trying to unlock it on the 21st. Before that they were just trying to get Apple to do it for them. So it only took them a week to unlock it.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 21:50 11

12. Rafishant (Posts: 224; Member since: 13 Oct 2015)


I guess the US government tried many times with lots of software security experts, but failed. And then, they transferred the case to Apple. All in all, this is a phenomenal victory to Apple.
They first didn't sacrifice their principals and privacy, and second they proved the iPhone is very secure. Apple deserves recognition.
If the FBI needed weeks to unlock an iPhone, the hackers might need years if never

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:06 16

18. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


They only proved it's not as secure as they say. The exploit is out there, and now Apple doesn't control it, and doesn't know how to plug it.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 23:04 2

45. spin9 (Posts: 279; Member since: 31 May 2014)


APPLE must sue the Israeli company for breaking iphone's security

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 08:36 1

82. yoosufmuneer (Posts: 1498; Member since: 14 Feb 2015)


they invest in Occupied Palestine, What do you expect?

http://www.apple.com/il/pr/library/2015/02/23Apple-to-Invest-1-7-Billion-in-New-European-Data-Centres.html

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:02 6

15. AlikMalix (Posts: 5238; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


You missed the reports that the government. Tried to unlock it themselves. Think about it - if there's in fact potential information that's on it - it is time sensitive as these terrorist move fast. Why would they wait all this time to wait (think of time between inside t and until they asked Apple to assist) and only after try to force Apple. Don't forget they messed up their chance to access the iCloud back up info before crying to Apple. Oh don't fool yourself - they tried - and tried a lot.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:07 7

19. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


No, they didn't, because they feared that 10 tries was all they had. They literally only tried actually accessing it a few days ago.

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 03:07

70. KyleRiemen (Posts: 118; Member since: 29 Oct 2014)


Isn't it obvious? Apple helped them unofficially and now they are both winners...

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 10:23 1

90. MrHate (Posts: 220; Member since: 09 Feb 2015)


"only a week". I wonder how many minutes it would take them to unlock any Android phone.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 21:46 6

10. vliang86 (Posts: 157; Member since: 05 Oct 2015)


If it is Android, that will take them one day to hack!

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:08 7

20. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


It only took cellbrite one day.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:05 2

17. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Long? It's been literally a few days. Probably only took one day. They didn't start trying before because they didn't want to trip the wipe security.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:42 4

34. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 12066; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Don't be ignorant tedkord. They couldn't break into or do I have to remind you of Stagefrightgate?

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:43 8

37. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


They did, so obviously you're still full of sh*t.

You can remind me of whatever you like - my phone is immune to stagefright.

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 10:22

89. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 12066; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Nope that's your comments.

Your phone isn't immune to vulnerabilities. Get over it.

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 11:54 1

92. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Of course it isn't. Show one single instance where I said it was. Just one. No phone is invulnerable. This isn't about my comments, it's about your butthurt that the iPhone is also vulnerable.

posted on 31 Mar 2016, 14:15

98. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8958; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


He didnt say it wasn't. He said it was immune to StageFright specifically. You trolled his comment, and then suffer stupidity-nesia right afterwards. How quaint.!

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 23:53 2

57. Unordinary (Posts: 1285; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


It's been going on for over a month lol, with Apple. No one was able to hack it until now, and they still most likely didn't, regardless of the claims.

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 01:30 2

63. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


They didn't try during that month because they didn't want it to wipe. They brainstormed ideas, sure, but didn't actually try. Then they handed out to a third party, and within a day or two, boom - open.

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 02:30 1

69. AlikMalix (Posts: 5238; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


ted, you're smart, but why cant you consider that they used dummy iphones that were set up the same way, one after another, after another...

You dont think that they actually would try it on the real device... they bought probably hundreds of iphones 5c, set them up with a passcode and tried again and again and again differentiating their methods - so did the other hacking companes, so did McCaffie, an anyone one that was interested. Yes they kept the terrorists iphone in the bag, but you dont think they used other iphones to try different methods during ALL THIS TIME?

I bet they couldnt successfully hack any of the other iphones to try and unlock "the terrorist one"

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 04:57

76. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Because they couldn't know how it was setup. It could have been set to wipe, it could have been a 4 digit pin, 6 digit pin our long, strong password.

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 10:21

87. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 12066; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


You're in denial

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 11:54 1

93. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


You're in pain.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:52 1

42. DnB925Art (Posts: 966; Member since: 23 May 2013)


But now that the gov't has the method, and Apple does not know exactly what method they used, the gov't can now use this method to unlock other phones quickly without Apple's help.

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 03:20

71. AlikMalix (Posts: 5238; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


i could imagine that the update log for ios 9.3.1 will have:

-Blah, blah blah
-Blah blah 23
-blah blah after blah
-blah blah new blah
-also blah blah
-prevents government to access your phone using blah blah method discovered by 3rd party company
-blah blah
-we added ability blah blah
-blah blah blah
-removed blah blah
-fixes and blah blah...

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 23:37

54. engineer-1701d (Posts: 3271; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


It took 1 day to unlock by old tech, the court battle and following the law took that long and would still go on now if not for 3rd party

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:44 2

38. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Now that would be a funny ending to this story, if it were 1234.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 23:35

53. engineer-1701d (Posts: 3271; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Still apple should be funded for not doing what a court ordered, if any of us did something any thing even close to this and disobeyed then we would be in jail and fined. They need a hefty hefty fine

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 21:19

2. zeeBomb (Posts: 1863; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


Ooh damn. Apple, why?

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 21:21 1

3. vliang86 (Posts: 157; Member since: 05 Oct 2015)


PA is sooo late reporting news as usual.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 21:30 2

6. bucky (Posts: 2473; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


First I've heard of it.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 21:23 3

4. TheHitman1982 (Posts: 68; Member since: 30 Dec 2014)


I'm calling bulls**t.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:03

16. AlikMalix (Posts: 5238; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


See my post #14. Below

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 21:34

7. xondk (Posts: 1250; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


If this is true, and there isn't shenanigans in it, with them hiring outside help and such, then it is just......sad.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 21:44

9. insanity99 (Posts: 44; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


Terrorists will be hunting that guy or whoever unlocked the phone.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 21:47 3

11. nctx77 (Posts: 1768; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


I'm glad Apple held strong in their case!

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:28 7

25. willard12 (Posts: 1561; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


Because Apple actually unlocked phones for the FBI over 70 times before they got caught by the news agencies, you're really happier with a free press exposing them. That forced APPLE, who until a few months ago was willingly helping the FBI, to start a PR campaign in the first case they had after they were exposed. Because you think Apple was sincerely "holding strong" for your benefit, their PR campaign worked..... as it always does.

http://news.sky.com/story/1646272/apple-unlocked-iphones-of-criminals-for-years

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 21:51 1

13. combatmedic870 (Posts: 566; Member since: 02 Sep 2015)


This is still a lose. The government has now proven it can unlock any iPhone.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 21:57 3

14. AlikMalix (Posts: 5238; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


"Government has proven..?" They gave us PROOF? Where? Because they said "they did"? Think about it... Never before did the government release any information about their endeavors with cyber security - especially something this particular that happens to be tied to a terrorist act. Now they're all of a sudden sharing what they accomplished? Why would the government NEED to disclose whether they unlocked it or not? Other then to save face?

I call Bull Shnit!!!!

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:11 2

21. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


They released only that they accessed the data, and they announced that because they were dropping a high profile case against Apple.

Face it, they got in. Someone knows how to bypass the security and encryption. Nothing is totally secure, and it really shouldn't bother you so much that iOS isn't either.

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 09:43 1

86. TheHitman1982 (Posts: 68; Member since: 30 Dec 2014)


Don't believe everything the government tells you.

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 11:57

94. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


I don't. I simply look at the facts of the story. Public opinion was leaning toward the government. The court case was going in the government's favor. They still wanted into the phone. There's no logical reason to drop the case if they didn't get into it.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:30

27. mixedfish (Posts: 1154; Member since: 17 Nov 2013)


Asking questions doesn't prove that they didn't, why does anyone need to prove they got in, if you can't prove otherwise.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:52 1

43. AlikMalix (Posts: 5238; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


Hey guess what - I hacked My friends S7 remotely using my iPhone!!! Asking me questions doesn't prove that I didn't... Right?

And they say Apple users are gullible.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 23:08 1

46. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


No, but they are overly protective.

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 02:10

65. AlikMalix (Posts: 5238; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


How would you be if everywhere you turn, people insult you because you dont care about changing icons and fonts and prefer an iOS ecosystem instead of android....

Nearly every post against apple is also against those that buy it... ofcourse you're going to be defensive... I cant even start a normal conversation without first having to elaborate why iOS is better...

"You bought apple - you're a blind fanboy" That's pretty much the mindset of about 90% of the crowd here...

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 04:58 3

77. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Ignore idiots. Your response is what they're after.

posted on 29 Mar 2016, 08:52

84. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3919; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


That's the way it is for any OS. How much talk do you hear about the "blind fandroids"? Quit acting like Apple users are the only ones who get that treatment. And when I started here it was the opposite. Apple users were in the majority and looking down on anyone who didn't use an iPhone " because they couldn't afford one so they were just jealous".

And seriously, this is all about the phone a person uses. How would you feel if everywhere you turn people insulted you because of your skin color, ethnicity, orientation, religion, or how much you make? There are more serious things out there to be persecuted for than the phone you use.

posted on 30 Mar 2016, 01:33

97. Inotamira (Posts: 173; Member since: 06 Feb 2016)


@AlikMalix Maybe you should stop proving you're a blind fanboy? Seriously, every single post you make over and over and over again proves it. Don't want to be counted as the majority of blind fanboy's? Stop being one and actually consider the faults in your preferred system. I frankly don't care if you prefer it, good for you, but stop acting like it craps gold and makes your life a shining ray of sunshine and simply admit that it's an over priced device that's simply OKAY. Android is a great system, is it perfect? Of course not! I can admit that and still love it, the difference from being reasonable and a fanboy is that simple. So either stop being a fanboy, or keep getting s**t for claiming completely bogus non-sense that apple makes up on a regular basis and start using facts.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 23:30

51. sissy246 (Posts: 708; Member since: 04 Mar 2015)


OMG did you not think it would not get out that they had got in the phone since they dropped the case against Apple.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:12 1

22. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Yep. And that it's apparently pretty easy.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:29 2

26. gallison83 (Posts: 10; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


On what level would this be called easy? It's not quite so simple when plugging the phone into a USB port while locked yields nothing. Also, it was easy as in a $15k contract between a government and a security company. It's certainly not in the realm of the mom-n-pop operations or small teams of hackers.

Additionally, this hack required that the interested party have physical control of the device. While there is no safe device, I would feel comfortable to say that iOS is relatively safe, from an encryption based perspective. I would expect this to remain the case until the cost of this hack moves from government contract territory and into a $20 bucks an hour slot.

At the end of the day, this is a win for encryption and a call to move to the next step ahead knowing that a brute force method does exist for any password protected mobile device.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:32

29. tedkord (Posts: 10675; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


All mobile OSes are secure from that vantage point.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:23

23. TrackPhoneUser (Posts: 79; Member since: 21 Oct 2015)


And all they found were selfies and candy crush

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:23 2

24. Astoni (Posts: 649; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


i Really like how dumb some people in the comment section are.. seriously.

The Government wanted apple to make a software so they could access any iOS phone wirelessly.. without effort, so they could go into your phones..

Unlocking a single phone connected to a PC isn't that hard. For gods sake just watch John mcafee explanation.. its simle as s**t. iOS isnt that f**king secure.. all they wanted was an excuse to access more than 1 phone the easy way.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 23:35

52. ibend (Posts: 3865; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


"Unlocking a single phone connected to a PC isn't that hard".. lol

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:32 2

28. AppleVersusAndroid (unregistered)


Meanwhile all you have to do to access the information on an Android phone is to plug it into any computer and it acts like a USB drive.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 22:32 1

30. AppleVersusAndroid (unregistered)


It really sounds like I'm an Apple fanboy after saying that, but that's literally all it takes.

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