“The FBI screwed this up by directing the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health to reset Farook’s Apple ID password,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “They did not, and apparently could not, change anything on the phone itself. But once they reset the Apple ID password, the phone could not back up to iCloud, because the phone needed to be updated with the newly-reset Apple ID password — and they could not do that because they can’t unlock the phone.”
“The key point is that you do not have to unlock an iPhone to have it back up to iCloud. But a locked iPhone can’t back up to iCloud if the associated Apple ID password has been changed,” Gruber explains. “The county, at the behest of the FBI, reset the Apple ID password. This did not allow them to unlock the iPhone, and, worse, it prevented the iPhone from initiating a new backup to iCloud.”
“The only possible explanations for this are incompetence or dishonesty on the part of the FBI,” Gruber writes. “Incompetence, if they didn’t realize that resetting the Apple ID password could prevent the iPhone from backing up to iCloud. Dishonesty, if they directed the county to do this knowing the repercussions, with the goal of setting up this fight to force Apple to create a back door for them in iOS.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: So, what you you think, incompetence or dishonesty?
Consider first that the feds did allow Farook and his dog-faced bride back into the country in the first place and local government officials did then hire and place Farook in a position that allowed him to case public schools (photograph, note entrances and exits, etc.) where untold numbers of soft targets in “gun-free zones” (free of every gun but his, of course) would be his for the murdering, so government incompetence has already been well established in multiple instances in this case.
If the feds ever do get into that iPhone, we hope they enjoy nothing but hundreds of photos of high school cafeteria trays.
Apple, we want our iCloud backups encrypted in such a way as to be inaccessible by you via court order post haste.
Apple: Terrorist’s Apple ID password changed in government custody, blocking access – February 19, 2016
Apple posts open letter: ‘Answers to your questions about Apple and security’ – February 22, 2016
Apple could easily lock rights-trampling governments out of future iPhones – February 20, 2016
Apple is still fighting Big Brother – February 19, 2016