Tag Archives: Encryption

Judge: FBI Doesn’t Have to Reveal How It Unlocked iPhone Used by San Bernardino Terrorist

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Remember the infamous encryption fight between the FBI and Apple for unlocking an iPhone belonging to terrorist Syed Farook behind the San Bernardino 2015 mass shooting that killed 14 people?

The same Apple vs. FBI case where Apple refused to help feds access data on the locked iPhone and, later the Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly paid over a million dollars to a vendor for unlocking the shooter’s iPhone.

For keeping the iPhone hack secret, three news organizations—The Associated Press, USA Today, and Vice Media—sued the FBI last year under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and forced the agency to reveal the name of the company and the amount it was paid to unlock the iPhone.

However, unfortunately, they failed.

A US federal judge ruled Saturday that the FBI does not have to disclose the name of or how much it paid a private company for an iPhone hacking tool that unlocked Farook’s iPhone.

Apple vs. FBI was one of the biggest legal battles in which Apple was being forced to build a backdoored version of its iOS that could have helped the agency unlock Farook’s iPhone, but the company refused.

After weeks of arguments, the US government withdrew its motion and announced it had obtained an alternative method to unlock the iPhone from an “outside party.”

A few months later, The Associated Press, USA Today, and Vice Media sued the FBI, arguing that the public have a right to know how the government spent taxpayer funds for the iPhone hack.

The news organisations also claimed the existence of a serious vulnerability in the iPhone could be a danger to the public.

However, U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan of the District of Columbia ruled this weekend that the information on vendor and hacking tool used is exempt from mandatory disclosure under the government transparency law.

“It is logical and plausible that the vendor may be less capable than the FBI of protecting its proprietary information in the face of a cyber attack,” the judge said.

“The FBI’s conclusion that releasing the name of the vendor to the general public could put the vendor’s systems, and thereby crucial information about the technology, at risk of incursion is a reasonable one.”

Regarding the cost of the hacking tool, the federal judge also agreed with the US government that revealing the price the government paid for unlocking iPhone could harm national security.

“Releasing the purchase price would designate a finite value for the technology and help adversaries determine whether the FBI can broadly utilise the technology to access their encrypted devices,” Chutkan said.

“Since the release of this information might ‘reduce the effectiveness of a critical classified source and method’, it is reasonable to expect that disclosure could endanger national security.”

Last year, former FBI Director James Comey indirectly disclosed that the agency reportedly paid around $1.3 Million for the hacking tool that helped the agency break into Farook’s iPhone 5C.

Although Comey said the hacking tool the FBI bought was only effective against an iPhone 5C running iOS 9 and not on later versions of iPhone such as the 5S, 6 and 6S, the agency could theoretically find a way to expand the tool’s effort or build a similar implementation to hack higher models.

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Dutch Police Seize Another Company that Sells PGP-Encrypted Blackberry Phones

The Dutch police arrested four suspects on Tuesday on suspicion of money laundering and involvement in selling custom encrypted BlackBerry and Android smartphones to criminals.

The Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU), dedicated team within the Dutch National Police Agency aims to investigate advanced forms of cyber crimes, carried out investigation and found that the phone brand “

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Telegram Messenger Adds AI-powered Encrypted Voice Calls

Joining the line with rival chat apps WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger, and Signal, the Telegram instant messaging service has finally rolled out a much-awaited feature for the new beta versions of its Android app: Voice Calling.

And what’s interesting? Your calls will be secured by Emojis, and quality will be better using Artificial Intelligence.

No doubt the company brought the audio

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Google Chrome to Distrust Symantec SSLs for Mis-issuing 30,000 EV Certificates

Google announced its plans to punish Symantec by gradually distrusting its SSL certificates after the company was caught improperly issuing 30,000 Extended Validation (EV) certificates over the past few years.

The Extended Validation (EV) status of all certificates issued by Symantec-owned certificate authorities will no longer be recognized by the Chrome browser for at least a year until

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