San Bernardino DA: Terrorist’s county-owned iPhone could contain ‘dormant cyber pathogen’ or something

“The iPhone at the center of the ongoing legal battle between Apple and the FBI may hold a ‘dormant cyber pathogen’ that could cripple San Bernardino, according to the county’s District Attorney,” Rich McCormick reports for The Verge.

“Michael Ramos’ court filing ascertains that the iPhone, provided to San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook by his employers, ‘may contain evidence that can only be found on the seized phone that it was used as a weapon to introduce a lying dormant cyber pathogen that endangers San Bernardino’s infrastructure,'” McCormick reports. “Well, that certainly sounds scary! A malicious electronic disease held in check only by the joint forces of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Apple’s passcode screen? ”

“Ramos has gone for the nuclear option here — as everyone knows, affixing the word ‘cyber’ to anything makes it ten times more ominous, while also having the effect of convincing people you know what you’re talking about when it comes to technology,” McCormick reports. “Sadly for Ramos, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Speaking to Ars Technica, iPhone forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski said that in describing a ‘dormant cyber pathogen,’ Ramos might as well be talking about a magical unicorn that he swears exists on his phone.”

Read more in the full article here.

“The district attorney’s position comes a week after Jarrod Burguan, the San Bernardino police chief, said there was a ‘reasonably good chance that there is nothing of any value on the phone,'” David Kravets reports for Ars Technica. “The county declined to directly comment. A spokesman, David Wert, told Ars in an e-mail that ‘The county didn’t have anything to do with this brief. It was filed by the district attorney.'”

Kravets reports, “The DA’s office, which did not immediately respond for comment, followed up with a statement to Ars, saying that there is a ‘compelling governmental interest in acquiring any evidence of criminal conduct, additional perpetrators, potential damage to the infrastructure of San Bernardino County, and in protecting the California Constitutionally guaranteed due process rights of the victims, deceased and living, arising from state crimes committed on December 2, 2015.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Hey San Bernadino County: We’re all for employing the mentally disabled, but you might want to draw the line somewhere before District Attorney.

This issue works wonders when it comes to starkly illuminating the dividing line between the left and right sides of The Bell Curve.

Nearly all of the intelligent people support Apple’s position while the short-sighted mouth-breather contingent line up like lemmings for more U.S. government overreach.

U.N. Human Rights Commissioner: U.S. government risks opening a Pandora’s Box in Apple iPhone case – March 4, 2016
Former U.S. Homeland Security Chief: iPhone override would be software equivalent of biological weapon – March 4, 2016
U.S. Congressman introduces bill to forbid federal agencies from purchasing Apple products until company unlocks terrorist’s iPhone – March 3, 2016
Apple is racking up supporters in privacy fight against U.S. government overreach – March 3, 2016
Husband of San Bernardino terrorism victim backs Apple vs. U.S. government overreach – March 3, 2016
Over 40 companies to back Apple vs. U.S. government overreach; beleaguered Samsung still thinking about it – March 3, 2016
Apple posts amicus briefs in support of Apple vs. U.S. government overreach – March 3, 2016
U.S. Defense Secretary says strong encryption essential to national security, not a believer in back doors – March 3, 2016
Apple digs in for long fight against U.S. government overreach: ‘There is no middle ground’ – March 3, 2016
ACLU, other privacy groups urge U.S. judge to support Apple vs. U.S. government in iPhone case – March 2, 2016
Apple scored the knockout punch against FBI in House Judiciary Committee hearing – March 2, 2016
Within an hour of Malaysia Flight 370 disappearing, Apple was working with officials to locate it – March 2, 2016
John McAfee reveals how the FBI can unlock an iPhone in 30 minutes – March 2, 2016
Can the FBI force a company to break into its own products? No, says U.S. Magistrate – March 2, 2016
Apple CEO Cook decried Obama’s ‘lack of leadership’ on encryption during a closed-door meeting last month – February 29, 2016
Obama administration set to expand sharing of data that N.S.A. intercepts – February 28, 2016
Apple’s fight with U.S. could speed development of devices impervious to government intrusion – February 24, 2016
Petition asks Obama administration to stop demanding Apple create iPhone backdoor – February 19, 2016
Obama administration claims FBI is not asking Apple for a ‘backdoor’ to the iPhone – February 18, 2016
Obama administration wants access to smartphones – December 15, 2015
Obama administration war against Apple just got uglier – July 31, 2015
Obama’s secret attempt to ban cellphone unlocking, while claiming to support it – November 19, 2013


  1. And that is why *electing* district attorneys and judges is the stupidest idea ever.

    The idea of accountability to the public sounds nice, but some positions really do need to be appointed and not subject to the whims of an easily manipulated public. On the other side of the coin, people in these positions should only act to uphold the law equally, and that means sometimes taking a wildy unpopular position and not worry about pandering for votes.

      1. Not could. It absolutely DOES contain all the winning numbers for all future lotteries, judiciously interleaved before encryption, of course! (Note: The interleaving algorithm on those numbers is also encrypted on that phone! The algorithm is so complex that the numbers seem to be just randomly set on the phone.)

    1. Actually, I heard it definitely has the secret method of how to trisect an angle. It also has the coordinates to the only known unobtainium mine. One faction has claimed to have proof that the cure to all cancers is on that phone. There are even rumors of it having the location of Atlantis! We need to decrypt that phone *NOW* in order to get at these secrets that can dramatically change the course of the world!!!!

  2. Well if it may contain such a dangerous dormant cyber pathogen or worse yet a humanitarian field generator it’s too much of a cyber conspiracy threat and needs to be cyber destroyed immediately before it takes over the drones.

    Dormant cyber pathogen, gosh where do they dream this stuff up? Oh wait, I just realized where, no surprise there.

      1. Yeah, I can’t wait for the movie to come out. The suspense at the end when they finally crack it open and see with horror what’s inside, leaving everyone in suspense until the sequel (there will have to be a sequel)… invasion of the Eyephone, watching at a theatre near you, a car near you, a house near you, a bathroom near you.

        Oh on another note, thanks a lot for those links about the assassination attempt. I never really followed the first Gulf War sounded too much like a football game, the Patriots interception from the Scuds.

        And both sides of the explanation, at the time and revisionist. Gotta love the guessing game.

  3. So… The County owned the iPhone?? really. Then why do their IT people not have control/access to the any county owned phones?? I have 5 phones and 3 iPads in my business that I have given to my employees to use. They MUST use the passcode I have provided them. I control all the apps updates, etc. of the phones/ipads. They can make whatever calls they want, emails, etc. They know who owns the phone, and they know the usage and privacy policy that goes with using a company owned phone. Poor management on the County’s part.

      1. And Obama, whose administration is currently running this circus. Or did you forget?

        Not that things would be different if Trump were in office. Or Clinton or Bush for that matter.

        That should be a wake-up call to all of us. This is NOT a political issue like raising the debt ceiling. This case is showing that our elected officials of BOTH parties feel ok in ignoring the position of those who put them in office.

  4. Has somebody been cutting and pasting articles from The Onion?

    If this is for real, I’m astonished that such a message could ever have been sent from any office, least of all a D.A’s office. It calls into question everything that Michael Ramos has done and might do in the future. There surely has to be some sort on minimum intellectual qualification to hold office in the U.S.?

    No – don’t answer that, I’ve seen what some of the candidates have said duringthe primaries.

      1. Don’t believe that things have changed since then, it’s just not the usual path to practicing law. Most law schools have enough applicants that they can afford to require an undergraduate degree before admission.

        Graduating from law school should confer a JD (juris doctor) degree on your head. Not that you have to have it before taking the bar exam.

        My father studied law at night school a few years before he retired from his long-time job with Los Angeles County, got the JD and passed the bar exam first try. One would be enthusiast who took the exam the same time was on his 16th (unsuccessful) attempt to pass the test. Took it every six months for years, finally passed on his 22nd try.

        They don’t tell you how many times a potential attorney failed the bar exam before making it into the bidness…

        1. Same with medical schools. I used to teach part of the curriculum at a medical school and was an advisor to a few MDs teaching there too. The old joke back then was, “What do you call someone who graduates at the very bottom of their class in medical school?” Answer: “Doctor.”

    1. With the DNC being run by a toadie of the payday loan industry and trying desperately to keep Bernie Sanders off the national ticket, there’s not much hope anywhere this election cycle.

      Now the Republicans have a new(ish) player, with good hair and a great smile, trying to ride in and save the day. Give it up, Mitt, it’s never going to be your turn until you can explain why the President of the US needs a Swiss bank account. And this time you’ll get beaten by a girl. I’ll even vote for her in that contest.

  5. “arising from state crimes committed on December 2, 2015.” Finally an admission that it was a government controlled/sponsored attack on its own citizens?

  6. Holy Moses, when I know absolutely nothing about something, I don’t just pretend I know and let my mouth parts start flapping away hoping whatever I make up sounds convincing because I threw in words like “infrastructure” and “cyber” in it. I know I’d sound like a complete jackass if I tried to pull off that kind of shenanigan.

  7. Thanks for the MDN take. Back from a hard day in the classroom and I squealed like a pig in a blender when I read it. Satire is truly dead though, when you have loons like Michael Ramos who graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pure and Applied Fuckwittery.

  8. in several repressive regimes overseas the security chief is being slapped by the boss because he can’t explain what this strange new thing from the USA “DCP” is….

    “A senior official filed it! They are talking about this phone in Congress and you CANNOT EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT DORMANT CYBER PATHOGEN IS ?????!!!!!! “

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