Posts Tagged iPhone

How Did The FBI Break Into iPhone?

From the EFF:

In addition, this new method of accessing the phone raises questions about the government’s apparent use of security vulnerabilities in iOS and whether it will inform Apple about these vulnerabilities. As a panel of experts hand-picked by the White House recognized, any decision to withhold a security vulnerability for intelligence or law enforcement purposes leaves ordinary users at risk from malicious third parties who also may use the vulnerability. Thanks to a lawsuit by EFF, the government has released its official policy for determining when to disclose security vulnerabilities, the Vulnerabilities Equities Process (VEP).

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The Apple Case Could Violate The Thirteenth Amendment

If Apple is compelled to create a program that doesn’t exist for the government, that would be a type of slavery.

From Reason.com:

Instead, the DOJ has obtained the most unique search warrant I have ever seen in 40 years of examining them. Here, the DOJ has persuaded a judge to issue a search warrant for A THING THAT DOES NOT EXIST, by forcing Apple to create a key that the FBI is incapable of creating.

There is no authority for the government to compel a nonparty to its case to do its work, against the nonparty’s will, and against profound constitutional values. Essentially, the DOJ wants Apple to hack into its own computer product, thereby telling anyone who can access the key how to do the same.

If the courts conscripted Apple to work for the government and thereby destroy or diminish its own product, the decision would constitute a form of slavery, which is prohibited by our values and by the Thirteenth Amendment.

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Apple, Privacy and the FBI

It’s way more complicated than the pundits are saying. To be fully informed read these articles.

From the EFF:

…the FBI’s demands reflect a familiar pattern of security agencies leveraging the most seemingly compelling situations—usually the aftermath of terror attacks—to create powers that are later used more widely and eventually abused. The government programs monitoring the telephone system and Internet, for example, were created in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Those programs came to undermine the rights of billions of people, doing more damage to our security than the tragic events that prompted their creation.

ArsTechnica discusses Fifth Amendment issues:

But the Fifth Amendment goes beyond the well-known right against compelled self-incrimination. The relevant part for the Apple analysis is: “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

The idea here is that the government is conscripting Apple to build something that it doesn’t want to do. That allegedly is a breach of its “substantive due process.” The government is “conscripting a company’s employees to become agents for the government,” as one source familiar with Apple’s legal strategy told Ars. The doctrine of substantive due process, according to Cornell University School of Law, holds “that the 5th and 14th Amendments require all governmental intrusions into fundamental rights and liberties be fair and reasonable and in furtherance of a legitimate governmental interest.”

Reason discusses the political battle over encryption:

This incident is only the latest conflict in a years-long encryption and security war waging between privacy- and security-minded groups and the law enforcement community. As more communications are digitized, authorities have been calling for industry assistance to build so-called government “backdoors” into secure technologies by hook or by crook.

Those in law enforcement fear a scenario where critical evidence in a terrorism or criminal case is beyond the reach of law enforcement because it is protected by strong encryption techniques that conceal data from anyone but the intended recipient. Hence, leaders at agencies like the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Security Agency, along with President Obama, have weighed in against strong encryption.

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Your Cell Phone Is Spying On You And It’s Great (or is it?)

From The CATO Institute:

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Law Enforcement Upset Over New Smartphone Security

From Bloomberg:

The dispute is the latest flare-up that pits the federal government against the nation’s leading technology companies since National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden disclosed last year the extent of U.S. snooping on phone and Internet communications — and how companies cooperated.

U.S. Justice Department and FBI officials are trying to understand how the new Apple and Google Android systems work and how the companies could change the encryption to make it accessible when court ordered. Their requests to the companies may include letters, personal appeals or congressional legislation, said a federal law official who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue.

 

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New Sofware From Apple and Google Better At Protecting Your Information From Government

From Reason.com:

Observant tech journalists have noticed something big in their latest privacy notes. Apple has changed its encryption so that the company itself cannot access the data on its users’ phones and iPads without the passcode. Thus, if police or the feds come to Apple with warrants to grab potentially useful private data off a device, they couldn’t comply even if they wanted to.

From ArsTechnica:

The Washington Post is reporting that Google will finally step up security efforts on Android and enable device encryption by default. The Post has quoted company spokeswoman Niki Christoff as saying “As part of our next Android release, encryption will be enabled by default out of the box, so you won’t even have to think about turning it on.”

The move should bring Android up to parity with iOS. Apple recently announced enhanced encryption for iOS 8, which Apple says makes it impossible for the company to decrypt a device, even for law enforcement. While Android’s encryption was optional, it seems to work in a similar way, with Christoff saying “For over three years Android has offered encryption, and keys are not stored off of the device, so they cannot be shared with law enforcement.”

 

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FLIR For Your iPhone

From TechCrunch:

If you ever wanted to experience how the Predator sees the world, now’s your chance, and all you’ll need is an iPhone and the FLIR ONE case. The FLIR ONE case packs a full thermal imaging camera that sees variances in temperature on the infrared spectrum, and works with either the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s, along with the FLIR ONE companion app. It can show you a live view of the world broken down by relative heat, and it’s coming to Apple Stores and Apple’s online retail portal in August, with pre-orders at FLIR ONE’s website kicking off tomorrow.

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Possible Backdoor in iPhone OS

From The Daily Mail:

A security expert has warned Apple’s iOS software contains potentially sinister tools that could be used by governments to spy on iPhone and iPad users.

Speaking at the ‘Hackers on planet Earth’ conference in New York, Jonathan Zdziarski said that most users are unaware of the lack of protection for iPhone data.

He added files found hidden within the firm’s software contain a file-relay service that can be used to access the user’s address book, photos, voicemail and any accounts configured on the device.

However, Apple has denied the claims the backdoor was created deliberately for government or surveillance purposes.

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Smartphones Track Your Movements

From KOMONews:

Students at the University of Washington volunteered their phones to see how easy it can be to see where the device has been. The frequent locations setting creates a map, and tapping on a specific locations reveals the dates and times of a particular visit and even how long you were there.

The students were taken aback that it was so easy to track their history.

“That’s kind of crazy,” Sebastian Aste said. “It’s interesting how accessible your life can be.” 

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Reloading Calculator App Deemed “Mature Content” by Apple

From GunsHolstersAndGear.com:

However, according to the listed ratings, this fancy Excel formula is not suitable for anyone under the age of 17.  On the Apple site, in bold blue letters, is the warning:

You must be at least 17 years old to download this app.

Seriously?

In an effort to justify the rating, these reasons are listed:

  • Frequent/Intense Realistic Violence
  • Frequent/Intense Mature/Suggestive Themes

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The iPhone Has Passed a Key Security Threshold

From: Technology Review

At the heart of Apple’s security architecture is the Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm (AES), a data-scrambling system published in 1998 and adopted as a U.S. government standard in 2001. After more than a decade of exhaustive analysis, AES is widely regarded as unbreakable. The algorithm is so strong that no computer imaginable for the foreseeable future—even a quantum computer—would be able to crack a truly random 256-bit AES key. The National Security Agency has approved AES-256 for storing top-secret data.

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GunSafe iPhone App

Defense Review has a nice review of a new iPhone app that logs all the information for all your firearms.

GunSafe allows you to securely load, store, and categorize information on every firearm they own. You can load the weapon’s make, model, serial number, purchase/transfer location, date of purchase/transfer, purchase price, and provide notes on it. You can also store a photo of the weapon.

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Epocrates Moble Medical App

Epocrates Updates

I have the free version of this on my iPhone.  An EMT I know uses it to I.D. mystery pills found on or around unresponsive patients.

Epocrates Clinical Updates:
August 2010

Updates Summary:

9 new drug monographs
331 drug monographs edited
849 drug-drug interaction edits

more

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Ham Radio iPhone App

Repeater frequency database

http://coolhamstuff.com/freqfinder.html

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Magpul iPhone Case

iPhones can now travel into harsh environments.

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