The FBI is asking businesses and software security experts for emergency assistance in its investigation into a pernicious new type of "ransomware" virus used by hackers for extortion. "We need your help!" the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.
Ransomware is malicious software that encrypts a victim's data so they cannot gain access to it on their computers, then offers to unlock the system in exchange for payment. FBI's alert was focused on ransomware known as MSIL/Samas.A that the agency said seeks to encrypt data on entire networks, an alarming change because typically, ransomware has sought to encrypt data one computer at a time.Read more
The Justice Department said on Monday that it had found a way to unlock an iPhone without help from Apple, allowing the agency to withdraw its legal effort to compel the tech company to assist in a mass-shooting investigation.
The decision to drop the case — which involved demanding Apple’s help to open an iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, a gunman shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., ends a legal standoff between the government and the world’s most valuable public company. The case had become increasingly contentious as Apple refused to help the authorities, inciting a debate about whether privacy or security was more important.Read more
The mobile forensics firm Cellebrite of Israel is reportedly assisting the Federal Bureau of Investigation in unlocking a seized iPhone that has become the center of a legal dispute between the bureau and Apple.
The revelation comes two days after the US government tentatively withdrew its demands that Apple write code and assist the authorities to unlock a seized iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino County shooters. The FBI told a federal judge that an "outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking Farook's iPhone." A federal magistrate then tentatively stayed her order demanding that Apple assist the authorities in unlocking the phone.Read more
The Justice Department said that it might no longer need Apple’s assistance in opening an iPhone used by a gunman in the San Bernardino, Calif., rampage last year.
The disclosure led a judge to postpone a court hearing over the issue and temporarily sidesteps what has become a bitter clash with the world’s most valuable company. In a new court filing, the government said an outside party had demonstrated a way for the F.B.I. to possibly unlock the phone used by the gunman. The hearing in the contentious case — Apple has loudly opposed opening the iPhone, citing privacy concerns and igniting a heated debate — was originally set for Tuesday.Read more
President Barack Obama said Friday that smartphones -- like the iPhone the FBI is trying to force Apple Inc. to help it hack -- can’t be allowed to be "black boxes," inaccessible to the government. The technology industry, he said, should work with the government instead of leaving the issue to Congress.
"You cannot take an absolutist view on this," Obama said at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. "If your argument is strong encryption no matter what, and we can and should create black boxes, that I think does not strike the kind of balance we have lived with for 200, 300 years, and it’s fetishizing our phones above every other value."Read more
The security researchers from Carnegie Mellon University were hired by the federal officials to discover a technique that could help the FBI Unmask Tor users and Reveal their IP addresses as part of a criminal investigation.
Yes, a federal judge in Washington has recently confirmed that the computer scientists at CMU's Software Engineering Institute were indeed behind a hack of the TOR project in 2014, according to court documents filed Tuesday. In November 2015, experts reported that Tor Project Director Roger Dingledine accused the Federal Bureau of Investigation of paying the CMU for providing information that led to the criminal suspects identification on the Dark Web.Read more
Bill Gates has broken ranks with Silicon Valley in the stand-off between Apple and the US government, saying technology companies should be forced to co-operate with law enforcement in terrorism investigations.
The Microsoft founder took issue with Tim Cook’s characterisation of the government’s order that Apple help break open the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone as a demand for a “back door”, denying that it would set a wider precedent. “This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information. They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case,” Mr Gates told.Read more
FBI Director James Comey has penned an editorial about its dispute with Apple over unlocking the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. In it, he tried to quell criticism by Apple's Tim Cook that a court's decision forcing Apple to help the FBI access the device could have "chilling" implications.
"The San Bernardino litigation isn't about trying to set a precedent or send any kind of message," says Comey. "We don't want to break anyone's encryption or set a master key loose on the land. It is about the victims and justice. We owe them a thorough and professional investigation." Apple pricked a hole in the "professional" part of the investigation, however.Read more
Apple CEO declared that his company wouldn’t comply with a government search warrant to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino killers, a significant escalation in a long-running debate between technology companies and the government over access to people’s electronically-stored private information.
But in a similar case in New York last year, Apple acknowledged that it could extract such data if it wanted to. And according to prosecutors in that case, Apple has unlocked phones for authorities at least 70 times since 2008. In other words, Apple’s stance in the San Bernardino case may not be quite the principled defense that Cook claims it is.Read more
With a special hacking tool, the Federal Bureau of Investigations not only took over operations of a child pornography site, but also located some 1,300 visitors. Now the computer code used to hunt down suspects must be released per a court order.
What the FBI has called "the largest remaining known child pornography hidden service in the world," Playpen operated in the part of cyberspace known as the Dark Web on the browser Tor where its IP address was hidden. That is, until the FBI managed to capture control of the site in February 2015 where it proceeded not to shut it down, but rather kept the illegal content up for two weeks to catch 1,300 visitors’ IP addresses.Read more