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Apple's Letter To Their Customers

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Feb 6, 2015
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This is one of those weird situations where I can totally understand both sides of the argument here and have no idea what to think. I guess I'll remain firmly on the fence over this one.
 
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justjoinedtopost

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Also read both sides of the story. There are two sides to be sure.

Come down on Apple's side because they are taking the discussion public.
 
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JerryBoBerry

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For me, there is no 'two sides' to the issue. It's already happened. They are in the appeals process. What the FBI did makes them the worst terrorists in the history of cyber crimes. If the appeal fails it means the end of any digital security forever in this country.

I'm not being melodramatic. If anything that's an understatement.

iPhones work by using pgp public and private keys for security. When you boot your phone it has one key built into the hardware, it then queries apple servers for the other half to build the entire encryption/decryption scheme for that phone. So if your phone is stolen you can tell Apple that and they can disable their half of the key, making your phone locked.

What the FBI has done is used an old law called the All Writs Act to compel Apple to turn over their half of those keys. So they now can get into any iPhone they wish. A court has already ordered Apple to turn this information over, they are in the appeals process right now.

So absolutely everything you do on that phone, have stored on that phone, have passwords entered for other sites on that phone...it's all completely insecure with this move by the FBI.

And it goes further than that. Apple is the big fish in the pond. The FBI went after them first because if they can force them to do this, all the others are easier. The next step is google, everything you have ever signed into with your gmail account using Oauth will be theirs. Then they can go to dropbox, Microsoft, all the other companies in existence and simply say 'All Writs Act, hand over all the info needed to bypass your security' and it will be done. I was going to add Facebook, but that two faced company has probably already given it them freely.

If you have ever been worried that your phone or computer might be hacked into by hackers and all your personal information be stolen, bank accounts, medical history, everything. Well, there's over 100 million iPhone in use in the US today. This single act makes the FBI the greatest cyber terrorist ever. They've just hacked all of them in one fell swoop.

Read this article for a better explanation why this is fucked up beyond belief.
 

justjoinedtopost

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Considering that we are 15 years into the Patriot Act era, I am surprised Apple has any say in this at all.

What the FBI did makes them the worst terrorists in the history of cyber crimes...

This single act makes the FBI the greatest cyber terrorist ever. They've just hacked all of them in one fell swoop.

These statements I take issue with. I think the majority of the people working for the FBI have no ill intent. I don't think they are cyber criminals, or cyber terrorists.

But where there is power, someone will come along and try to abuse it. This sort of thing has to be kept in check.
 
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JerryBoBerry

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Considering that we are 15 years into the Patriot Act era, I am surprised Apple has any say in this at all.



These statements I take issue with. I think the majority of the people working for the FBI have no ill intent. I don't think they are cyber criminals, or cyber terrorists.

But where there is power, someone will come along and try to abuse it. This sort of thing has to be kept in check.
On an individual basis I agree, for the most part. But as an entity they have been pushing the boundaries for a long time, this crosses the line. The individual who thought up this work around should be jailed.
 

Gen

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For me, there is no 'two sides' to the issue. It's already happened. They are in the appeals process. What the FBI did makes them the worst terrorists in the history of cyber crimes. If the appeal fails it means the end of any digital security forever in this country.

I'm not being melodramatic. If anything that's an understatement.

iPhones work by using pgp public and private keys for security. When you boot your phone it has one key built into the hardware, it then queries apple servers for the other half to build the entire encryption/decryption scheme for that phone. So if your phone is stolen you can tell Apple that and they can disable their half of the key, making your phone locked.

What the FBI has done is used an old law called the All Writs Act to compel Apple to turn over their half of those keys. So they now can get into any iPhone they wish. A court has already ordered Apple to turn this information over, they are in the appeals process right now.

So absolutely everything you do on that phone, have stored on that phone, have passwords entered for other sites on that phone...it's all completely insecure with this move by the FBI.

And it goes further than that. Apple is the big fish in the pond. The FBI went after them first because if they can force them to do this, all the others are easier. The next step is google, everything you have ever signed into with your gmail account using Oauth will be theirs. Then they can go to dropbox, Microsoft, all the other companies in existence and simply say 'All Writs Act, hand over all the info needed to bypass your security' and it will be done. I was going to add Facebook, but that two faced company has probably already given it them freely.

If you have ever been worried that your phone or computer might be hacked into by hackers and all your personal information be stolen, bank accounts, medical history, everything. Well, there's over 100 million iPhone in use in the US today. This single act makes the FBI the greatest cyber terrorist ever. They've just hacked all of them in one fell swoop.

Read this article for a better explanation why this is fucked up beyond belief.

Silly question but would this work on iPhones outside of the US? I guess once the tech is built someone could just steal it? Or the precedent could be there for other countries to do the same?

Appreciate the extra info, thanks for posting this Jerry
 
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JerryBoBerry

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Silly question but would this work on iPhones outside of the US? I guess once the tech is built someone could just steal it? Or the precedent could be there for other countries to do the same?

Appreciate the extra info, thanks for posting this Jerry

IF the fbi could get their hands on it, yes. It would work for any iPhone. They could physically install software they made onto it, so the phone looks at their copy of the encryption key. That would unlock it then. Also if the FBI decided to share the keys, that would work too.
 
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AerynShade

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IF the fbi could get their hands on it, yes. It would work for any iPhone. They could physically install software they made onto it, so the phone looks at their copy of the encryption key. That would unlock it then. Also if the FBI decided to share the keys, that would work too.
When you think about it, that's even more terrifying. The FBI would be able to track literally everyone on the planet with an iPhone.
I sincerely hope Apple succeeds in fighting them. No govt needs that kind of power.
Now if y'all will excuse me, I've got to look for my old Nokia phone.
 

JerryBoBerry

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When you think about it, that's even more terrifying. The FBI would be able to track literally everyone on the planet with an iPhone.
I sincerely hope Apple succeeds in fighting them. No govt needs that kind of power.
Now if y'all will excuse me, I've got to look for my old Nokia phone.

Not only track, but turn on the camera and microphone without you knowing it. They could eavesdrop on anyone at any time.
 

justjoinedtopost

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Not only track, but turn on the camera and microphone without you knowing it. They could eavesdrop on anyone at any time.
There is an easy countermeasure for this -- live a mind-numbingly boring life. :haha:
 
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The FBI is not requesting that Apple back door any encryption on iOS. They want custom firmware to rapidly brute force the PIN code. It's also important to note that the device in question was the property of the deceased suspect's employer, and that employer gave permission for law enforcement to access it.

There are legitimate questions about the government forcing companies to create custom malware for law enforcement to make it easier to bypass security for their product. But in my opinion, a consented search is a poor case that Apple needs to be digging its heels on.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/worl...b903ee-d4d9-11e5-9823-02b905009f99_story.html
 
Sep 19, 2013
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fresh out of the oven
Another inquiry for @JerryBoBerry.

I remember reading some conspiracy theories regarding Microsoft's hard push for PC users to download Windows 10 if they haven't done so already. Much of the theories pertains to Microsoft being able to access anyone's personal folders within their hard drives at any given moment and how this could be tied to government spying. Now i didn't think much of it at the time, but this thread just got my memory jogging. I can't really remember much from what was conspired since i skimmed through it. Just wondering if there's any truth to that or is it mostly blowing smoke?
 
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[...]
iPhones work by using pgp public and private keys for security. When you boot your phone it has one key built into the hardware, it then queries apple servers for the other half to build the entire encryption/decryption scheme for that phone. So if your phone is stolen you can tell Apple that and they can disable their half of the key, making your phone locked.

What the FBI has done is used an old law called the All Writs Act to compel Apple to turn over their half of those keys. So they now can get into any iPhone they wish. A court has already ordered Apple to turn this information over, they are in the appeals process right now.

So absolutely everything you do on that phone, have stored on that phone, have passwords entered for other sites on that phone...it's all completely insecure with this move by the FBI.
[...]


You are badly misinformed. As Jesse0328 said, the FBI is not asking for Apple's "private key". They are asking for custom firmware that will let them brute-force the passcode. Normally, the firmware will add delays after multiple failed passcode attempts. After the 10th failed attempt, it will wipe the phone. The FBI wants custom firmware that doesn't add delays and doesn't wipe the phone. They also want the ability to electronically enter the passcode so they don't have to manually type in each guess. If the bad guy used a normal 4-digit passcode, it wouldn't take a long time to get to the correct passcode with this custom firmware. (If he used a longer passcode, this method might not be practical.)

Also, the FBI has asked that this firmware need only work on the one specific phone. Apple has the ability to do this -- the digital signature generated by Apple to authorize firmware upgrades involves an ID that is unique to the phone -- and the FBI knows this. The FBI doesn't even want possession of the custom firmware -- they're willing to have the installation be done in Apple's labs with only remote access provided to the FBI. So it's wrong to say the FBI would be able to use this to unlock any phone.

Although I tend to support Apple's side in this (slippery slope), I think the FBI request is quite reasonable, especially since the owner of the phone (it's a work phone not a personal phone), consented to the search. This case puts Apple in a tough spot -- because the FBI request is reasonable, there is a real danger that they'll lose in court.
 
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By the way, you are also misinformed about how the iPhone's user data is encrypted. It doesn't use "PGP" (although I think you meant public key cryptography). Apple's "private key" is not involved and cannot be used to decrypt the phone's data. It is decrypted through a key that's generated from the passcode and the phone's unique ID. That's why the FBI only needs that phone's passcode and not Apple's "private key". And that's also why Apple claims that they cannot simply decrypt the data on their customers' phones.
 

Shaun__

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You are badly misinformed. As Jesse0328 said, the FBI is not asking for Apple's "private key". They are asking for custom firmware that will let them brute-force the passcode. Normally, the firmware will add delays after multiple failed passcode attempts. After the 10th failed attempt, it will wipe the phone. The FBI wants custom firmware that doesn't add delays and doesn't wipe the phone. They also want the ability to electronically enter the passcode so they don't have to manually type in each guess. If the bad guy used a normal 4-digit passcode, it wouldn't take a long time to get to the correct passcode with this custom firmware. (If he used a longer passcode, this method might not be practical.)

Also, the FBI has asked that this firmware need only work on the one specific phone. Apple has the ability to do this -- the digital signature generated by Apple to authorize firmware upgrades involves an ID that is unique to the phone -- and the FBI knows this. The FBI doesn't even want possession of the custom firmware -- they're willing to have the installation be done in Apple's labs with only remote access provided to the FBI. So it's wrong to say the FBI would be able to use this to unlock any phone.

Although I tend to support Apple's side in this (slippery slope), I think the FBI request is quite reasonable, especially since the owner of the phone (it's a work phone not a personal phone), consented to the search. This case puts Apple in a tough spot -- because the FBI request is reasonable, there is a real danger that they'll lose in court.

The FBI does not care in the slightest about this phone, or the dead losers who used to own it. They are making a very public cry of helplessness to get gullible criminals to start using the "impossible" to crack iPhones. If this was a real demand they were making then they would have used a secret court order combined with a gag order to get what they wanted with no one ever knowing about it in public, the same way they did in the past with encrypted server providers.
 

JerryBoBerry

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You are badly misinformed. As Jesse0328 said, the FBI is not asking for Apple's "private key".


By the way, you are also misinformed about how the iPhone's user data is encrypted. It doesn't use "PGP" (although I think you meant public key cryptography). Apple's "private key" is not involved and cannot be used to decrypt the phone's data. It is decrypted through a key that's generated from the passcode and the phone's unique ID. That's why the FBI only needs that phone's passcode and not Apple's "private key". And that's also why Apple claims that they cannot simply decrypt the data on their customers' phones.

Source

Screenshot - 2_19_2016 , 6_31_24 AM.png


This case puts Apple in a tough spot -- because the FBI request is reasonable, there is a real danger that they'll lose in court.

They are trying to bypass the very foundation of reasonable expectation of privacy by couching their lust for power in a need for security. On a phone belonging to a guy who has already been caught. There is nothing reasonable about that at all. It depresses me there's people alive that would even think that.
 

JerryBoBerry

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Another inquiry for @JerryBoBerry.

I remember reading some conspiracy theories regarding Microsoft's hard push for PC users to download Windows 10 if they haven't done so already. Much of the theories pertains to Microsoft being able to access anyone's personal folders within their hard drives at any given moment and how this could be tied to government spying. Now i didn't think much of it at the time, but this thread just got my memory jogging. I can't really remember much from what was conspired since i skimmed through it. Just wondering if there's any truth to that or is it mostly blowing smoke?


Yes and no. Yes it is in the End Users License Agreement for Win 10 that they can do that. They have access to any file on your computer and people who install Win 10 agree to that. That being said, I have not heard of any case of them doing so, yet beyond internet searches, favorites, and other 'cortana' related stuff. Basically the same info Chrome and google collect already.


source
According to the agreement, the OS will save your Bing searches, private email content and the apps you access, as well as "your typed and handwritten words".

Microsoft says the data is being collected to personalize the OS.

"We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith that doing so is necessary to protect our customers or enforce the terms governing the use of the services", Microsoft said in its recently updated new terms of services agreement.
 

weirdbr

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Jerry, the key mentioned there is just the software signing key which is used to sign all software that Apple produces for the Iphone, not the encryption key which is generated on each phone based on the user's passphrase/PIN.

With that said, I haven't looked at iphone encryption, but if it's anything like the macbook encryption, Apple *can* have a copy of the key in escrow if you opt do to that (personally I always opt out of that - if I forget my encryption key, I have backups).
 
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You cut off the critical first sentence. In that paragraph, the author is not describing what the FBI has asked for in this case. He is *speculating* about what the FBI could do if they lose the appeal (emphasis mine):

So let’s assume that the FBI loses Apple’s inevitable appeal, and Apple doesn’t have to develop their own version of iOS that makes these older iPhones insecure. The FBI still can compel Apple to hand over the source code for the software on their devices. It can compel them to give them the build tools and other information necessary to make sure that software works. It can probably even compel Apple to tell them exactly what in the software to change to make it less secure so that it meets the FBI’s needs. Finally, and most worryingly, the FBI can compel Apple to give them Apple’s private key, so that the software the FBI creates can operate on an actual iPhone.

They are trying to bypass the very foundation of reasonable expectation of privacy by couching their lust for power in a need for security. On a phone belonging to a guy who has already been caught. There is nothing reasonable about that at all. It depresses me there's people alive that would even think that.
It's a work phone. The owner of the phone is the County of San Bernardino and they consented to the search. Did you miss that?
 

WebcamStartup

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I stand with freedom. I stand with Apple. We're already having terror laws used out of context against US citizens who are in now way committing malicious acts. Ironically, all the policy makers (on both sides of the aisle) insure the population that these laws will never be used out of context, and all those people crying wolf on the possibilities are nothing more than "Silly Conspiracy Theorists".
 
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