Tags NSA

Why the NSA shouldn’t crack the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone for the FBI

Apple FBI iPhone NSA Hackers

The iPhone 5c that belonged to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook is susceptible to certain malicious attacks that could get the FBI what it wants: unrestricted access to a device that might hold some evidence linking the shooter to other potential suspects. The NSA has been conspicuously absent from the Apple vs. FBI battle, AND MANY HAVE WONDERED whether the NSA can indeed break into the handset... AS WELL AS why it’s not doing it to help in this particular investigation.

Even Apple indirectly acknowledged that the NSA might have what it takes to crack any iPhones, by grilling the FBI on the reason it didn’t explain why the NSA’s resources aren’t being used.

However, even if the NSA has powerful tools to crack iPhones, it’s probably for the best it doesn’t use them on this particular device.

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Chris Smith

March 18th

Apple

Did Apple just imply the NSA can hack iPhones?

Apple FBI iPhone NSA

In a new court brief filed this week, Apple once again makes its case that the FBI’s request to force it to unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone 5c isn’t constitutional. While this isn't surprising, it's notable that the iPhone maker also implies that the NSA might have what it takes to decrypt iPhones for the FBI. It’s just that the Bureau seems not to have sought such assistance.

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Chris Smith

March 16th

Apple

Why the NSA doesn’t support the FBI in the San Bernardino iPhone case

Apple FBI iPhone Case NSA

The Snowden leaks explained in great detail some of the most sophisticated spying tools the NSA has developed in recent years for conducting mass surveillance operations and collecting data. That’s one of the reasons why Apple and other tech companies started using encryption to protect their devices, and why Apple is currently involved in a high-profile case against the FBI.

The government agency wants access to the iPhone 5c that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters, looking to force Apple to create a backdoor into the operating system. Many people pondered why the FBI isn’t cracking the iPhone without help from Apple, and why the NSA and CIA aren’t providing any assistance.

New reports cast a different light on the case, revealing that the NSA is not in the FBI’s corner in this fight and explaining why the intelligence agency isn’t keen on breaking iPhone encryption the way the FBI wants.

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Chris Smith

March 10th

Apple

High-profile spy agency defends encryption, says it doesn’t want iPhone backdoors

iPhone Encryption Backdoors GCHQ

Apple's fight with the FBI is one of the most important stories in tech today, as its outcome will have major implications for consumer privacy and safety. But while the FBI is essentially asking Apple to build a backdoor into iOS to unlock the iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, other spy agencies are claiming they're actually in favor of strong encryption.

The NSA is one of them and it has repeatedly claimed that strong encryption is required in today's tech landscape. And now British spy agency GCHQ has chimed in to say that it also supports strong encryption on the web.

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Chris Smith

March 9th

Apple

Mobile

Why isn’t the NSA helping the FBI unlock iPhones?

FBI Vs Apple NSA Hackers

The hackers at the National Security Agency have repeatedly shown themselves to be some of the most talented in the world and have hacked into the private data centers of both Google and Microsoft. Why, then, hasn't the FBI turned to the NSA for help in unlocking the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook? The Intercept has written an interesting article asking that very question and it concludes that the NSA likely does have the technical means to break into an iPhone that was released all the way back in 2013.

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Brad Reed

March 4th

Apple

Why isn’t the NSA helping the FBI unlock iPhones?

FBI Vs Apple NSA Hackers

The hackers at the National Security Agency have repeatedly shown themselves to be some of the most talented in the world and have hacked into the private data centers of both Google and Microsoft. Why, then, hasn't the FBI turned to the NSA for help in unlocking the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook? The Intercept has written an interesting article asking that very question and it concludes that the NSA likely does have the technical means to break into an iPhone that was released all the way back in 2013.

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Brad Reed

March 4th

Apple

NSA can still spy under new ‘Privacy Shield’ agreement with Europe

Privacy Shield NSA Spying

The United States and the European Union are about to reach a new privacy agreement intended to replace the old Safe Harbor agreement that came under intense scrutiny after the Snowden leaks revealed the scope of NSA’s data collection operations.

The new Privacy Shield was published in full a few days ago, showing the principles that would govern the exchange of digital information between EU consumers and U.S. companies. However, the new agreement also has provisions that explain how and when the NSA can continue bulk data collection in the region.

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Chris Smith

March 3rd

Uncategorized

Former NSA and CIA chief says Apple is right on the bigger issue of encryption back door

hayden

Retired General Michael Hayden, former head of both the NSA and CIA, told USA Today that while he “trends toward the government” on the ‘master key‘ approach to the San Bernardino case, he thinks Apple is right that there should never be a back door to encryption. His remarks were made as Tim Cook called for the government to drop its demands that Apple help the FBI break into an iPhone.

Hayden went so far as to specifically call out FBI Director Jim Comey in his comments.

In this specific case, I’m trending toward the government, but I’ve got to tell you in general I oppose the government’s effort, personified by FBI Director Jim Comey. Jim would like a back door available to American law enforcement in all devices globally. And, frankly, I think on balance that actually harms American safety and security, even though it might make Jim’s job a bit easier in some specific circumstances.

Comey has repeatedly attacked Apple’s use of strong encryption on iPhones …

Hayden said that while he would have loved a back door into encrypted devices while he was running the NSA, the problem – as I argued – is that others would inevitably gain access to it.

“When you step back and look at the whole question of American security and safety writ large, we are a safer, more secure nation without back doors,” he says. With them, “a lot of other people would take advantage of it.”

Hayden said that there were, though, no easy answers.

What we’re trying to do here is what free people and this free people have done since the inception of the republic, which is to balance two things, both of which are virtues: our security and our privacy. There are no permanent answers to that. We debate them continuously based on the totality of circumstances in which we find ourselves. The point I make to our countrymen: This is not a struggle between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. This is a good people, trying to find the right balance.

Lest anyone think Hayden has gone soft in his retirement, he had uncompromising things to say about everything from waterboarding (justified to get information to protect America) to the NSA’s mass surveillance of phone records (the NSA should have been a bit more open about it, but people over-reacted).

The entire piece – including Hayden’s assessment of current Presidential candidates – is well worth a read.

Photo: FPA


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS Devices Tagged: CIA, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Encryption, FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation, iPhone, James B. Comey, National Security Agency, NSA

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Ben Lovejoy

February 22nd

Apple

Mac

Just how much access does the NSA have to all unencrypted communications?

NSA Encryption Paris Attacks

In case you haven’t been following the news, the encryption wars are back and a huge Apple vs. FBI clash is the latest major conflict. The FBI wants access to the iPhone that belonged to one of the shooters in the San Bernardino massacre, and Apple is refusing to offer it.

But long before this week's big battle, there was a debate over the role that encryption played in the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last November. The NSA now says that the Paris attacks “would not have happened,” without encryption.

So does that mean the NSA can listen to everything except encrypted chats and communications?

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Chris Smith

February 20th

Uncategorized

Why You Should Care About Apple’s Fight With the FBI

The FBI wants Apple’s help to investigate a terrorist attack. Apple says providing this help is the real danger. We’ve reached a boiling point in the battle between tech companies and the government over encryption. And what happens will affect anyone who uses a smartphone, including you.

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Kate Knibbs

February 17th

Apple
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