Crapple’s Rep Takes A Beating As Does FBI…

“The FBI has now successfully retrieved the data stored on the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple required by this Court Order”
See FBI says it has cracked terrorist’s iPhone without Apple’s help
This is an interesting story.

First, FBI sought a court to order Apple to help them break into an iPhone in order to investigate terrorism. That’s either an indication that Apple’s security is very good or that FBI or even the NSA are very poor at snooping electronically.

Second, it appears that FBI sought help from little old Israel to hack the phone… How embarassing. The cost was apparently only a paltry sum, so it could not have been too hard. That means both that Apple’s tech and the combined might of the USAian government are not that great.

Oohhh. This gives me goosebumps to see two blowhards unclothed simultaneously. Apple claims it is the ultimate supplier of consumer electronics and USA never misses an opportunity to claim title to “greatest country on Earth”. This is a coup for Israel.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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6 Responses to Crapple’s Rep Takes A Beating As Does FBI…

  1. ram says:

    Or they could have visited a Chinese “White Box” computer shop in Sydney’s Chinatown and they would have broken into the smartphone while they waited, or perhaps went to lunch at one of the excellent restaurants in the area.

  2. Dr Loser says:

    Having to work with Israeli companies in the past, I find them to be high sophisticated technologically in many fields. So this was of no surprise.

    An interesting question is, what do those companies think of you, Dog-Brain?

    They might be unusual in this respect, but “high[ly] sophisticated technologically in many fields” isn’t the answer that springs to mind.

    No doubt you are willing to offer your usual uneducated guess as to the decryption techniques used by the FBI, of course. Better still, leave it to Fifi. Fifi is an even better generator of random inconsequential quotes than even you, Dougie, me lad.

  3. dougman says:

    Having to work with Israeli companies in the past, I find them to be high sophisticated technologically in many fields. So this was of no surprise.

  4. Dr Loser says:

    BTW: In my continual efforts to be as helpful and unbiased as possible, I recommend you check out the All Writs Act, which the Feebs apparently tried to use as a last-ditch, we-can’t-enforce-this-any-other-way, end-around the rest of the law.

    It appears to apply to any judgement whatsoever by any judge in a Federal Court.

    And for a legal document, it is surprisingly short and clearly worded. And far more worrying than some little piddling attempt to crack a terrorist’s phone.

  5. Dr Loser says:

    That “obscure” Israeli firm, btw?

    Ask yourself which country is most likely to collect dozens, hundreds even, of mobile phones from terrorist suspects as a matter of course. Ask yourself whether that country has a vested interest in producing brand-leading NAND-mirroring password cracking technology.

    The answer will come to you eventually, if you apply your mind to the question.

  6. Dr Loser says:

    You do seem to get yourself excited before the event, Robert. There are pills for that, you know.

    Now, rather than relying on CNN and USA Today, you might want to look further into the matter. Say, check out what a security expert has to say on the matter.

    The timescales (particularly the court timescale of two weeks) seem to match quite nicely. I should think, once you’ve got a NAND mirror up and working, you should be able to crack an entropy of, say, 70 bits on a special purpose device inside three weeks or so. And that’s by brute force. You could run a parallel device on a dictionary-based check and bring the entropy up to maybe 200-300 bits.

    Of course, this analysis depends upon:
    1) How the NAND mirroring is performed. As a complete non-expert, I would assume a software emulation — more likely a FPGA emulation, really — which would reduce the speed rather. But I wouldn’t have thought by much. And quite frankly, even if it reduces the speed of the “mirrored NAND” by, say, a factor of a thousand, I would imagine that the Feebs would stump up for a multiplexor and a thousand copies or so.
    2) How secure the maniac’s password was in the first place.

    Most of us would consider a pass-phrase of, say, 30 characters to be pretty secure. (It isn’t, in this case.) And most of us would make the assumption that the hardware itself — and the “four tries and you’re backed out by a few seconds” — would make the thing impregnable.

    Frankly, I’m surprised it took the Feebs this long. But unless one is going to commit the sort of crime that causes them to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, and this on a bit of hardware in their possession at the time … I don’t think it’s much of a cause to rant at Apple security.

    Let’s face it, Robert — the same approach would work on Gnu/Linux/Android, wouldn’t it?

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