FBI using Israeli firm Cellebrite to help break into San Bernardino terrorist's iPhone

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An Israeli forensic software company, Cellebrite, is helping the FBI try to unlock the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, according to a national newspaper.




If the firm succeeds the FBI will be able to drop requests for help from Apple, reported Yedioth Ahronoth, as quoted by Reuters. The paper didn't say how Cellebrite was attempting to break into the phone, or what kind of progress it might be making.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice asked a federal court to postpone a Tuesday hearing intended to review the order asking Apple to build a passcode limit removal for the FBI. A filing indicated only that "an outside party" had shown the FBI a possible means of unlocking Farook's phone, and that if successfully tested it would negate the need to recruit Apple.

The government has until April 5 to update the court, and Apple said it will be asking for further information on the vulnerability.

Should Cellebrite's option not work, courts may once again have to test the FBI's interpretation of the All Writs Act. A decision one way or another could set a major precedent, either limiting or unleashing the amount of help U.S. law enforcement can recruit when trying to bypass encryption.

Apple has argued that such a precedent could be dangerous both domestically and internationally, and that compelling the creation of new software is tantamount to compelling speech. It has also suggested that the order would undermine iOS security, exposing it not just to law enforcement and spy agencies but to hackers and criminals.

Conversely, some in government have expressed concerns about the Internet "going dark" to legal searches and warrants, since criminals and terrorists can theoretically hide behind encrypted apps and operating systems.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    Well, there's one company that's just lost it's Apple developer credentials...
    lostkiwiliquidmarklatifbp
  • Reply 2 of 49
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    And yet if the shooters were Christian this whole case wouldn't exist. Such hypocrisy.
    rob53ceek74redgeminipajkichlinestevehbanchopmzpropodjony0
  • Reply 3 of 49
    josujosu Posts: 217member
    ireland said:
    And yet if the shooters were Christian this whole case wouldn't exist. Such hypocrisy.
    It would be shooting rampage as usual.
    williamlondonredgeminipa[Deleted User]fotoformatchaickanolamacguysandorjony0
  • Reply 4 of 49
    If it was this company, it would be funny if Apple bought them
  • Reply 5 of 49
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,480member
    Funny how rumor becomes fact. Everything I’ve read on this indicates it’s only suspected that this company is the one who supposedly came forward. No confirmation from anyone has come. Yet now both MacRumors and AI are reporting it as fact. Why is that? Is this how tech journalism works these days?
    gatorguy[Deleted User]farmboycash907censoredSpamSandwichai46magman1979lostkiwidaren_mitchell1983
  • Reply 6 of 49
    ceek74ceek74 Posts: 324member
    lkrupp said:
    Funny how rumor becomes fact. Everything I’ve read on this indicates it’s only suspected that this company is the one who supposedly came forward. No confirmation from anyone has come. Yet now both MacRumors and AI are reporting it as fact. Why is that? Is this how tech journalism works these days?
    I wouldn't expect any confirmations on these types of services.  With the gov't it's a one-way street.
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 7 of 49
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,594member
    It is time for us all to stand up to the government and demand that they do their job with the resources they have rather than forcing companies to rewrite their software and pose a threat to all. We have been spending 100's of BILLIONS on national security since 9/11. No one ever said it is our role to make their job as easy for them as possible, at the expense of our own freedoms and personal security. If they can't manage to do their jobs with the resources they have then we should look for new leaders to replace them. Period.
    edited March 2016 ceek74JanNLrob53offgridfotoformattdknoxlarryachaickanolamacguybaconstang
  • Reply 8 of 49
    ireland said:
    And yet if the shooters were Christian this whole case wouldn't exist. Such hypocrisy."

    An entirely baseless comment. This is a criminal investigation, not a religious persecution issue.
    edited March 2016 gatorguyjay-t[Deleted User]cash907censoredSpamSandwichmonstrosity1983
  • Reply 9 of 49
    freerange said:
    It is time for us all to stand up to the government and demand that they do their job with the resources they have rather than forcing companies to rewrite their software and pose a threat to all. We have been spending 100's of BILLIONS on national security since 9/11. No one ever said it is our role to make their job as easy for them as possible, at the expense of our own freedoms and personal security. If they can't manage to do their jobs with the resources they have then we should look for new leaders to replace them. Period.
    And posting this passionate defense of liberty in a comment section is entirely useless. What course of action are you proposing? Because signing a petition means nothing. You have to actually **do** something. 
    tdknoxcash907censored
  • Reply 10 of 49
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,648member
    lkrupp said:
    Funny how rumor becomes fact. Everything I’ve read on this indicates it’s only suspected that this company is the one who supposedly came forward. No confirmation from anyone has come. Yet now both MacRumors and AI are reporting it as fact. Why is that? Is this how tech journalism works these days?
    I wouldn't blame macrumors or AI on this one:

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4782246,00.html
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-encryption-cellebrite-idUSKCN0WP17J

    Both say "Israel's Cellebrite, a provider of mobile forensic software, is helping the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's attempt to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, California shooters, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported on Wednesday." I don't see this statement as saying suspected. Of course, other parts of the article say "The FBI has been reportedly using the services of the Israeli-based company Cellebrite in its effort to break the protection on a terrorist's locked iPhone, according to experts in the field familiar with the case." This was ynetnews' lead article.

  • Reply 11 of 49
    didn't mcafee say he could break it too?...uhmm and if he couldn't he will eat his uhm shoes..??
  • Reply 12 of 49
    freerange said:
    It is time for us all to stand up to the government and demand that they do their job with the resources they have rather than forcing companies to rewrite their software and pose a threat to all. We have been spending 100's of BILLIONS on national security since 9/11. No one ever said it is our role to make their job as easy for them as possible, at the expense of our own freedoms and personal security. If they can't manage to do their jobs with the resources they have then we should look for new leaders to replace them. Period.
    And posting this passionate defense of liberty in a comment section is entirely useless. What course of action are you proposing? Because signing a petition means nothing. You have to actually **do** something. 
    "...posting this passionate defense of liberty in a comment section is entirely useless."
    ",,,
    An entirely baseless comment"

    Your posts seem extremely judgmental (and you seem to love using the word "entirely", a word that holds little value in true debate), but nevertheless...wonder what the name "eliangonzal" represents? Have to assume it is not a verbal protest/celebration.

    nolamacguylatifbp
  • Reply 13 of 49
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,333member
    If it was this company, it would be funny if Apple bought them
    Actually, this is a company that specializes in forensic methods of hacking into devices. The last thing Apple would want is to be capable of providing forensic methods of hacking into devices. This would make Apple even more of a target by law enforcements to provide their hacking expertise in solving criminal cases. Apple could no longer claim that none of their employees have any knowledge in forensics. 

    However, I'm sure Apple wouldn't mind paying this company a generous fee if they were to inform Apple of a weakness in their software that can be exploited. So Apple can patch it on the next upgrade. Of course, Apple would have to pay as much or more that what the FBI and NSA are willing to pay for such a hack.
  • Reply 14 of 49
    ireland said:
    And yet if the shooters were Christian this whole case wouldn't exist. Such hypocrisy.
    Pretty ironic comment coming from someone with the username "ireland"...guess you never heard of a little group called the IRA...the only difference is that this technology didn't exist in their heyday but if it had, they wouldn't be allowed to slide because they were christians. But, as it stands today, you don't have a global christian extremist problem where you have christians beheading people or blowing themselves up in crowded, public spaces..unless they're a mass media conspiracy keeping these events quite and only focusing on besmirching the good name of Allah.
    cash907censoredbaconstanggatorguy
  • Reply 15 of 49
    birkobirko Posts: 60member
    ireland said:
    And yet if the shooters were Christian this whole case wouldn't exist. Such hypocrisy.
    If these shooters were christian and there was a chance that there may be a network of people promoting this type of activity among other christians the case probably would exist.
    cash907censoredcnocbuimonstrositydiplicationgatorguy
  • Reply 16 of 49
    birkobirko Posts: 60member

    ireland said:
    And yet if the shooters were Christian this whole case wouldn't exist. Such hypocrisy.
    Pretty ironic comment coming from someone with the username "ireland"...guess you never heard of a little group called the IRA...the only difference is that this technology didn't exist in their heyday but if it had, they wouldn't be allowed to slide because they were christians. But, as it stands today, you don't have a global christian extremist problem where you have christians beheading people or blowing themselves up in crowded, public spaces..unless they're a mass media conspiracy keeping these events quite and only focusing on besmirching the good name of Allah.
    There is a widespread Christian problem of violence and killings, particularly on the African continent, but it is not global. These violent groups tend to focus their activities only in their more immediate environment.
  • Reply 17 of 49
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    ireland said:
    And yet if the shooters were Christian this whole case wouldn't exist. Such hypocrisy."

    An entirely baseless comment. This is a criminal investigation, not a religious persecution issue.
    Uh no, its an 'act of terrorism' based on the person's presumed religious faith. Hypocrisy at is finest.

    Language is an important tool of the government and media to generate the exact brand of feeling and thought and response they desire.
    dasanman69
  • Reply 18 of 49
    Now if the favorite phone company of the terrorist had just helped the FBI when first asked then the probably would have only cracked this phone which may, and probably will save American lives and even gained more support from Americans as a great company. But now that we know Apple = Islamic terrorist, the FBI had to develop a tool to crack every phone they so chose.
  • Reply 19 of 49
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    birko said:
    ireland said:
    And yet if the shooters were Christian this whole case wouldn't exist. Such hypocrisy.
    If these shooters were christian and there was a chance that there may be a network of people promoting this type of activity among other christians the case probably would exist.
    this was an office shooting, workplace violence. the shooters were deranged lunatics, and merely ISIS wannabes -- there were not members of ISIS or any terror cell. the definition of terrorism is violence in the pursuit of political objectives. these two clowns weren't part of any global or regional attempt to influence US policy, and were instead just disgruntled and pissed off at their coworkers and decided to go down in a blaze of self-perceived glory.
    edited March 2016 dasanman69
  • Reply 20 of 49
    "If the firm succeeds the FBI will be able to drop requests for help from Apple..."


    LOL

    More like COMPELL! DEMAND!

    and other draconian vocabulary words...

    Even going so far as to STEAL "confiscate" iOS source code.
    edited March 2016 baconstangfrac
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