San Bernardino shooter's iPhone may hold evidence of 'dormant cyber pathogen,' DA says

in General Discussion edited March 2016
In an application to file an amicus brief with a California court on Thursday, San Bernardino District Attorney Michael A. Ramos intimates an iPhone used by terror suspect Syed Rizwan Farook, and later seized by law enforcement officials, might contain evidence of a "dormant cyber pathogen" threatening the county's data infrastructure.

The curious statement was made in reference to an unspecified threat in violation of California Penal Code Section ?502 covering protections against tampering, interference, damage and unauthorized access to computer systems. Specifically, Ramos says the iPhone in question could contain evidence "that it was used as a weapon to introduce a lying dormant cyber pathogen that endangers San Bernardino County's infrastructure." Beyond that, no other details are offered.

There is no mention of "cyber pathogens" in Cal. Penal Code ?502, but the provision does reference a "computer contaminant," described as a "set of computer instructions that are designed to modify, damage, destroy, record, or transmit information within a computer, computer system, or computer network without the intent or permission of the owner of the information." Ramos appears to be indicating that Farook potentially released a virus or worm onto the county's internal network using his work-issued iPhone 5c.

As noted by ArsTechnica, which reported on the matter earlier today, Ramos' claims of a digital "pathogen" appear to be incongruent with evidence made available in a federal court order compelling Apple's assistance in unlocking the device.

Until now, law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, have carefully steered clear of speculating what information, if any, is stored on the subject iPhone. Further, existing court filings do not allude to an imminent cyber threat, whether targeted or undefined. Indeed, the main impetus for conscripting Apple's assistance is ostensibly to make such discoveries.

Ramos' amicus brief application also argues that Farook's phone might contain information implicating a third co-conspirator in last year's terror attack that left 16 people dead, including Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik.



  • Reply 1 of 116
    iSRSiSRS Posts: 47member
    Sounds like they are grasping at straws. Do they have evidence of that in the iCloud backups they have? People need to remember that this was an employer issued iPhone, not his personal iPhone. His personal phone and computers were destroyed.
  • Reply 2 of 116
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,386member
    The lunatics are running the asylum. 

    I weep for for my country. 
    stsklostkiwimatrix077iqatedoradster360mike1latifbpmagman1979manfred zornsdrls
  • Reply 3 of 116
    My dog ate my homework.. I had a flat tire..
  • Reply 4 of 116
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    My dog ate my homework.. I had a flat tire..
  • Reply 5 of 116
    I heard that the phone actually has pictures of Bigfoot
  • Reply 6 of 116
    hahahahahaha, so this is what happens to all the seized meth in southern california
  • Reply 7 of 116
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 687member
    If there is a pathogen in it, throw it in the fire before it spreads! The whole of San Bernadino could be in trouble!
  • Reply 8 of 116
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 683member
    Is "dormant cyber pathogen" like "double secret probation"?

  • Reply 9 of 116
    jamochejamoche Posts: 1member
    "dormant cyber pathogen"? Well, I guess we know what'll be on CSI:Cyber next.
  • Reply 10 of 116
    stskstsk Posts: 22member
    hahahahahaha, so this is what happens to all the seized meth in southern california
    This is one of the rare cases in which the comments are way better than the article.
  • Reply 11 of 116
    Cyber pathogen. I'm scared. Hold me.
  • Reply 12 of 116
    marktimemarktime Posts: 39member
    The DA was later heard to say that "the phone may also contain proof that the pyramids were landing pads for alien spaceships."
  • Reply 13 of 116
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    I am literally stunned. The level of desperation here beggars belief. So the phone, which only last week had nothing of value, now contains a cyber pathogen?

  • Reply 14 of 116
    I'm like..
  • Reply 15 of 116
    I think Mr Ramos is a dormant cyber pathogen.
  • Reply 16 of 116
    It's such a load a bull. "May hold" means it's both opinion, theory and excuse. There's no solid evidence here. For all we know, it could have selfies. 
  • Reply 17 of 116
    There's a dormant cyber pathogen on the phone. So we have to wake the phone up and connect it to the nation's networks to find out!
  • Reply 18 of 116
    I had a flat tire and the dog ate my spare tire !
  • Reply 19 of 116
    buzdotsbuzdots Posts: 452member
    Everybody knows the abbreviation for District Attorney,
  • Reply 20 of 116
    Vaccinate your phone!!!
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