FBI Can Keep Details of iPhone Hack Secret, Rules Judge

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The FBI doesn't have to identify the company it contracted to unlock an iPhone used by one of the shooters in the 2015 California terror attack that killed 14 people, a federal judge ruled on Saturday (via Politico).

    Three news organizations - USA Today, Associated Press, and Vice Media - sued the FBI last year under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to try to force the agency to reveal the name of the company and the amount it was paid to unlock the device.

    In the original complaint, the news organizations argued that the public had a right to know how the government spent taxpayer funds in the case. They also claimed the existence of a flaw in the iPhone could be a danger to the public. However, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled this weekend that the information is exempt from mandatory disclosure under the government transparency law.
    A battle between Apple and the FBI began in early 2016 when Apple refused to help the government unlock shooter Syed Farook's iPhone 5c under the belief that it could set a bad precedent for security and privacy. The FBI didn't know what was on the device at the time, but believed that any information gathered could potentially help move the case of the San Bernardino attack forward in meaningful ways.

    To break into Farook's iPhone 5c, the FBI later employed the help of "professional hackers" and reportedly paid upwards of $1.3 million for a tool exploiting a security vulnerability, a figure arrived at based on comments made by then-FBI director James Comey. The agency said it was not able to share with Apple the hacking methods used because it did not own the rights to the relevant technical details regarding the purchased technique.

    The FBI has said the method used to break into the iPhone 5c does not work on the iPhone 5s and later, but it can be used to access iPhone 5c devices running iOS 9. It later revealed after the hack that nothing on the phone relevant to the investigation was found.

    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 Can Keep Details of iPhone Hack Secret, Rules Judge
  2. dannyyankou macrumors G3


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
  3. Nozuka macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    "The FBI has said the method used to break into the iPhone 5c does not work on the iPhone 5s and later, but it can be used to access iPhone 5c devices running iOS 9. "

    ios9, really? lol....
  4. supercoolmanchu macrumors regular


    Mar 5, 2012
    NSA listens in on all mobile comms... so FBI flushes 1.3 million taxpayer bucks for a hack that only works in one type of phone.

    So for for those playing along at home, Federal government operates both illegally and totally stupidly. But sure let’s give them more authority over [insert partisan topic]. :rolleyes:
  5. modemthug macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2010
    It’s probably already patched anyway

    The FBI messed up by going wide with this and making a big spectacle. They should have just kept it within the intelligence community/private contractors rather than trying to compel Apple of all companies to “unlock” it. But I guess this is the nature of security theater.
  6. nwcs macrumors 68000


    Sep 21, 2009
    That wasn’t their end game. Their end game with Apple was to set a legal precedent to be used later. If they forced Apple to capitulate it would have led to weaker security plus a case law basis to strong arm any company in a similar manner. Doesn’t matter what your political persuasion: governments always want to know what you’re doing and when.
  7. DoctorTech macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2014
    Indianapolis, IN
    In the immortal words of Will Rogers, "Thank God we don't get all the government we pay for."
  8. JosephAW macrumors 68020


    May 14, 2012
    Don't worry. They aren't innovating the hacks it's the open community that's finding them and passing them on to Apple so we are one step ahead.
  9. JungeQuex macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2014
  10. dannyyankou macrumors G3


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    This was in 2015
  11. nvmls macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2011
    "whoever told you that is your enemy" -Zach De La Rocha
  12. Ds6778 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 9, 2016
    Even with all this political discord, disregarding my feelings toward the president, negative or positive, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else but here
  13. now i see it, Oct 1, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017

    now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    Cellebrite can unlock an iPhone 6 too. It would be VERY surprising if the 6S, 7 & 8 were uncrackable. I think the take on this is Apple is doing a big disservice to the public by continually ensuring us that their phones are secure, where in fact they can be breached (by government entities with big bucks).
  14. Kaibelf macrumors 68020


    Apr 29, 2009
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Not surprised by this. It’s in the government’s interest to hide tremendous waste.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 1, 2017 ---
    Your argument is like saying everyone should constantly live in fear because technically the US could nuke all life on the planet. Apple isn’t doing a disservice by staying within the realm of reason.
  15. tridley68 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 28, 2014
    What a total waste of taxpayer dollars from the federal blunder of idiots
  16. danny842003 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2017
    Why do people consider hacking this guys phone a waste of money?
  17. jw2002 macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2008
    Because the data that they got off the phone led them nowhere. Here is a suggestion for the FBI and law enforcement agencies: do old fashioned police work instead of expecting stuff to be handed to you on a silver platter.
  18. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    That's a bit silly. His phone is his computer and old fashioned police would check that first because it could be the source of all his contacts, money transfers, weapon browsing, targets etc.

    The cheaper thing to do would be to go to the morgue, grab his thumb and unlock the dang thing.
  19. B4U macrumors 68020


    Oct 11, 2012
    Undisclosed location
    Gotta love the government hiring those incompetent folks and throw our tax money away.
    Just like how those incompetent idiots crashed the Mars Climate Orbiter back in 1998 and cost us over 300 millions!!
  20. exodiusprime macrumors regular


    Jun 24, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Except the little issue where restarting your phone or not using it for a while prompts you instead for a passcode and only gives you so many times to enter it in...
  21. lostngone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2003
    If Russia, North Korea or other enemy uses this exploit to get access to a U.S. Government Information/Devices I wonder if the FBI with ask Apple to fix it then?
  22. danny842003 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2017
    But old fashioned police didn’t have to deal with terror cells organised over the internet.
    The fact they didn’t get any information is really neither here nor there.
  23. miniyou64 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 8, 2008
    So we should all give up our freedoms to pretend to feel safe from a government that cares only about control and justifying its own existence but not one bit about protecting anyone at all?
  24. Robert.Walter macrumors 65816

    Jul 10, 2012
    Next step would be a federal appeals circuit court.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 2, 2017 ---
    Please let us know how your Mars orbiter is doing.
  25. chr1s60 macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    I always enjoy reading these posts. People are extremely quick to defend Apple and their right to privacy, but if the situation involved the FBI trying to access a phone in order to get information regarding the death or wellbeing of one of their loved ones, I'm guessing their views would be quite different. To each their own.

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