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re: LQD: A Civil Action, in which the parties decline to name Apple defendant in a suit litigating third-party ("app developer") acquisition of phone "owner" personal data, a class of plaintiffs alleging Apple misrepresentation of device security is denied certification, AND the FBI's capability in 2016 to decode encrypted user data is recalled.

recent public disclosures
A former Apple engineer released GreyKey, a software that breaks the security system on the iPhone

This method of breaking Apple's security system is not the first to emerge in the last few weeks. An Israeli company named Celebrite[1][2], who came to public attention a few years ago to offer unlocking services for an iPhone 5 for US services, has recently launched a similar solution.
Cops Around the Country Can Now Unlock iPhones, Records Show 12 Apr
FBI Director Christopher Wray recently said that law enforcement agencies are "increasingly unable to access" evidence stored on encrypted devices.

Wray is not telling the whole truth.
[...]
Grayshift has been shopping its iPhone cracking technology to police forces. The firm, which includes an ex-Apple security engineer on its staff, provided demonstrations to potential customers, according to one email.

"I attended your demo presentation recently held at the Montgomery County Police Headquarters and was pleased by your product's potential," an Assistant Commander from the Technical Investigations Section at the Maryland State Police wrote in an email to Grayshift in March.

There's no reason to assume authorities need physical possession of the device in order to "scrape" phone owner personal data... or validate "influence peddling" with the assistance of social media "platform" software.
The GrayKey itself is a small, 4x4 inches box with two lightning cables for connecting iPhones, according to photographs published by cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes. The device comes in two versions: a $15,000 one which requires online connectivity and allows 300 unlocks (or $50 per phone), and and an offline, $30,000 version which can crack as many iPhones as the customer wants. Marketing material seen by Forbes says GrayKey can unlock devices running iterations of Apple's latest mobile operating system iOS 11, including on the iPhone X, Apple's most recent phone.
[...]
David R. Bursten, chief public information officer from the Indiana State Police, wrote in an email to Motherboard that the force had only recently obtained the GrayKey device, but that "this investigative tool will be used, when legally authorized to do so, in any investigation where it may help advance an investigation to identify criminal actors with the goal of making arrests and presenting prosecutable cases to the proper prosecuting authority."
Alrighty then. No foreign agents need to be harmed in any caper of suspect "hacking." The question for "progressive" civil rights activists now is which US federal and state agency may be eliminated from the line up of "improper" sharing.
But to be clear, GrayKey is not the end of this debate. Whatever exploits GrayKey is taking advantage of may stop working at some point. The FBI wanted to force Apple to tweak the San Bernardino iPhone running in February 2016; Cellebrite announced it could crack devices running iOS 9--the particular iOS version the phone was using--in July 2016. Even when phone crackers eventually catch up, there can still be a period of time when agencies may indeed be dark on a suspect's phone.

This is, presumably, the reason the DOJ and FBI would like backdoors: they provide more guaranteed access over a period of time, rather than catching up with each iteration of a phone cracking product. Cost [!] might be a factor too--forcing tech companies to facilitate access could be cheaper [?!!] than buying more cracking tools.

wut

"The FBI does not comment on specific tools or technologies; however, there is no one size fits [!] all solution to Going Dark," an FBI spokesperson told Motherboard in a statement.

In March, FBI Director Wray said the Bureau had nearly 7,800 phones it could not unlock last year. Maybe the FBI could get in touch with the country's local police forces.

&tc.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Apr 19th, 2018 at 08:48:58 PM EST
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