“Using acid, lasers and other very delicate instruments, it should be technically possible — if painstakingly slow and extremely risky — for the government to hack into the iPhone belonging to San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook without Apple’s assistance, cyber security researchers told ABC News,” ABC News Radio reports. “In court filings last week in which the Department of Justice requested a judge compel Apple to assist them in opening the phone, the government said, ‘The phone may contain critical communications and data prior to and around the time of the shooting that, thus far: (1) has not been accessed; (2) may reside solely on the phone; and (3) cannot be accessed by any other means known to either the government or Apple.'”
“But Wednesday former NSA contractor Edward Snowden said the third statement is not totally true and mentioned one technique in particular that he said could be used to hack the device unilaterally,” ABC News Radio reports. “‘The problem is, the FBI has other means… They told the courts they didn’t, but they do,’ Snowden said during a virtual talk hosted by Johns Hopkins University. ‘The FBI does not want to do this.’ Called ‘de-capping,’ the method involves removing and de-capsulating the phone’s memory chip to expose it to direct, microscopic scrutiny and exploitation.”
“Four cyber security researchers told ABC News that it technically should be possible to crack the phone that way. One of the researchers went further, saying, ‘If you have physical possession of a device, there are any number of ways to extract its secrets,'” ABC News Radio reports. “The process could be a months-long endeavor and carries a real risk of destroying the chip completely.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Unsurprisingly, the FBI doesn’t want to risk frying the thing and would prefer to try to set a precedent they would then be able use repeatedly.
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