FBI Agrees to Help Arkansas Prosecutor Unlock iPhone and iPod in Homicide Case

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The FBI has agreed to help an Arkansas prosecutor unlock an iPhone and iPod that belong to two teenagers accused of killing a couple, reports the Associated Press. The move comes days after the FBI announced that it had unlocked the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone.

    Hiland said the FBI agreed to help less than a day after the initial request was made. "We always appreciate their cooperation and willingness to help their local law enforcement partners," Hiland said. Patrick Benca, Drexler's attorney, said he was notified the FBI agreed to help and that he was "not concerned about anything on that phone."

    The prosecuting attorney said that they had heard the FBI had been able to unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone and wanted to see if they could help, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    Drexler, along with 15-year-old Justin Staton, are accused of killing Robert and Patricia Cogdell last July. The couple raised Staton as their grandson. After the two teens were arrested in Texas and brought to Arkansas shortly after the shootings, prosecutors gained possession of Drexler's iPhone. Last week, Staton's defense attorney was ordered to hand over his iPod, which was in the defense attorney's evidence locker.

    Prosecutors argue that Staton had indicated on phone calls that he had used his iPod to communicate about the murders and that further evidence might be on the device. It's unclear which iPhone and iPod the suspects used and which iOS version they're running.

    An FBI official told the LA Times that the FBI is unlikely use the tool that was used to unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone for criminal prosecutions because the method could be discovered during a trial. Furthermore, the method used to unlock that phone might not work with other phones, according to the official.

    "In a criminal case, if the FBI uses a technique, there's going to be questions about divulging that technique or chain of custody to the defense," Eric Crocker, Electronic Frontier Foundation staff attorney, told the LA Times. "So my instinct is this might be something different."

    Last week, shortly after the Department of Justice said that it discovered a "possible method" for unlocking the San Bernardino shooter's device, it was reported that the FBI enlisted Israeli firm Cellebrite to unlock it.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: FBI Agrees to Help Arkansas Prosecutor Unlock iPhone and iPod in Homicide Case
  2. dannyyankou macrumors G3


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
  3. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    I think Apple needs to get to work building a stronger encrypted OS.
  4. mariusignorello macrumors 68000

    Jun 9, 2013
    Lock iOS down so tight even Apple can't hack their own OS. But really, "just this one phone". A load of BS.
  5. JoelTheSuperior macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2014
    London, UK
    I have to suspect this is an older iPhone yet again.

    Reason I say this is, the newer models with the 'secure enclave' are likely uncrackable, unlike the older ones with the vulnerability mentioned previously where one could reset the lock screen attempt counter.
  6. Rob198612 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2014
    and it starts! now the FBI starts unlocking countless of phones. can't wait for apple to make IOS even stronger
  7. Z400Racer37 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2011
  8. Shirasaki macrumors G3


    May 16, 2015
    So then, FBI has found a way to crack such tough phone. Mourn the end of an era which iPhone is just safe.
  9. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
  10. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    Attorney: "OK, we're at the screen asking for the passcode."

    FBI: "Good, good, type 1 2 3 4 5 6"

    Attorney: "We're in!"

    FBI: "Excellent, don't tell anybody else the secret ..."
  11. Tubamajuba macrumors 68020

    Jun 8, 2011
    Done with MacRumors, the trolls have won
    As long as the phones with secure enclaves remain uncracked, the era has only just begun.
  12. gsmornot macrumors 68030


    Sep 29, 2014
    So, do you guys turn on the option to erase the phone after so many failed tries?
  13. ck2875 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    I didn't until the FBI started this whole hullabaloo. If nothing else, it made me realise my security could be better.
  14. sshambles macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2005
    Same here.
  15. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    There are ways around that. Any decently equipped law enforcement agency that deals with things like homicide and terrorist activities will have ways to clone the contents of a phone's memory to another drive, and then copy it back to the source when they need to.

    See, I don't have a problem with local law asking the FBI for help cracking a phone. That's a part of law enforcement. The biggest issue was that the FBI asked Apple for a backdoor, an easy way to crack into every iPhone they come across. That's wrong for a slew of reasons that are entirely separate from this.
  16. ProjectManager101 Suspended


    Jul 12, 2015
    Yes, but I went to the FBI last year to report a drug dealer, I gave pictures, connections, phone numbers, everything! And the drug dealer still having a blast.
  17. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008
  18. mariusignorello macrumors 68000

    Jun 9, 2013
    I have mine set to 5 attempts.
  19. Bubba Satori Suspended

    Bubba Satori

    Feb 15, 2008
  20. CrAkD macrumors 68040


    Feb 15, 2010
    Boston, MA
    The FBI probably watched one of those
    YouTube videos on how to get by the passcode haha.
  21. Soccertess macrumors 65816

    Oct 19, 2005
  22. japanime macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2006
  23. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    So did Apple really win? They won't need to create the back door the FBI was asking for but on the other hand the FBI now has a way to get in (older phones/iOS versions only??) without Apple knowing what it is.

    Would it be better to have full control or no control at all? Apple will probably look better to the consumer not having control but then do we feel better knowing the FBI can bypass them?
  24. lenard macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2007
    Raleigh NC
    I been doing that ever since the feature was available. I encrypt everything, all backups and file vault my Mac. Gave up backing up to iCloud for my iPhone and iPad and I have nothing to hide. Just don't like the idea that the government wants to look at peoples data weather they have the reason to or not.
  25. HEK, Mar 30, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016

    HEK macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2013
    US Eastern time zone
    Most important part is to set a long complex passcode. Letters, numbers, symbols, 20 characters long. Let em brute force that. You will be ash in your grave before they guess the combination.

    Edit....I was way too long with 20 characters. If you use just 12 numeric digits. It would take a computer checking at 80 millisecond rate over 2,500 years to try each possibility.

    Time to try each code based on Numeric digits only.
    8 digits = 92 days
    9 digits = 2.5 years
    10 digits = 25 years
    11 digits = 254 years
    12 digits = 2,537 years

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180 March 30, 2016