FBI agrees to unlock iPhone, iPod in Arkansas homicide case

“The FBI agreed Wednesday to help an Arkansas prosecutor unlock an iPhone and iPod belonging to two teenagers accused of killing a couple, just days after the federal agency announced it had gained access to an iPhone linked to the gunman in a mass shooting in California,” The Associated Press reports.

“Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland said the FBI agreed to the request from his office and the Conway Police Department Wednesday afternoon,” AP reports. “A judge on Tuesday agreed to postpone the trial of 18-year-old Hunter Drexler so prosecutors could ask the FBI for help. Drexler’s trial was moved from next week to June 27.”

“The FBI announced Monday that it had gained access to an iPhone belonging to Syed Farook, who died with his wife in a gun battle with police after they killed 14 people in San Bernardino in December,” AP reports. “The FBI hasn’t revealed how it cracked Farook’s iPhone. Authorities also haven’t said whether the iPhone and iPod in the Arkansas case are the same models or whether the FBI will use the same method to try to get into the devices.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, we thought this was about one phone? (smirk)


Welcome to the slippery slope.

One reminder: There is no evidence that the FBI’s undisclosed, super-top-secret solution (Cellebrite’s NAND-mirroring) works on modern iPhones with Secure Enclaves (iPhone 5s and later).

Apple could cement their win for liberty by simply buying Cellebrite, testing the method, stating publicly that all newer iPhones which contain the Secure Enclave have always been immune to hacking via the method the FBI paid Cellebrite to employ (NAND-mirroring) on the terrorist’s San Bernadino County-issued iPhone 5C.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

U.S. Senator Wyden pledges to fight limits on encryption – March 31, 2016
Apple’s new challenge: Learning how the U.S. cracked terrorist’s iPhone – March 29, 2016
Did the FBI just unleash a hacker army on Apple? – March 29, 2016
Apple declares victory in battle with FBI, but the war continues – March 29, 2016
Apple vows to increase security as FBI claims to break into terrorist’s iPhone – March 29, 2016
U.S. government drops Apple case after claiming hack of terrorist’s iPhone – March 29, 2016
Meet Cellebrite, the Israeli company reportedly cracking iPhones for the FBI – March 24, 2016


      1. I know people who are educated, intelligent, smart and bright; yet, they fell for this line: “I don’t like how they dictate what I can and cannot put on my iPhone. I love Android because it is open”.

        I find it rather difficult to try and argue with such a person while showing the proper respect. Oftentimes, these are people who are otherwise very well respected in their field, so one has to be very careful, not to come across as a rude, impolite, disrespectful idiot.

        I usually say that there is really nothing that I want to do on my iPhone that I cannot do, and that I could do on an Android. And I am a tech person who gets a lot of use out of his phone. One could potentially put together a list of things that can be done on an Android, but can’t be done on an iPhone, but I’m certain that such list would only affect a minuscule percentage of smartphone users.

        1. Most people have blind spots to some degree, especially when they have become emotionally invested and have built up an edifice of logic walls to block out any information that might be contradictory. To get past all that requires a self awareness that not everyone is able or willing to embrace. Doing so can be uncomfortable, especially when breaking down the wall might lead you to the conclusion that the decision you made to buy that Android device was a really bad one. Which then leads to the realization that you didn’t know what the hell you were doing and you really aren’t nearly as smart as you thought.

          1. The existence of such a wall can be confirmed, as Predrag suggested, by continued conversation; at some point, a tender spot is probed, a logical fallacy is exposed, and emotion visibly bubbles to the surface. I’ve seen it in PC drones but just as often in Apple fans. And of course politics of any sort weaves an impervious web. I suspect that very few individuals hold opinions, or make purchases, fully aware of the emotional hooks that caught them.

  1. Liars lying, because their lips are moving.

    From now on, all Law Enforcement phone requests need to be diverted to FBI field offices, since they seem to have discovered a ‘magic bullet’.

    Apple can then claim, “We did assist, and then we were told we were no longer needed. Have fun.”

    This will end in the next chip revision.

  2. It’s simple. Apple should hire an expert security company to routinely try to crack their iPhones and then use that knowledge to further secure them. There’s more than one way to skin an FBI grabby cat. The FBI’s moment in the broken encryption sun is merely temporary.

  3. Great news, send your iphones to be unlocked to FIB or you can wait for NSA to intrude up your connection.

    It’s mission accomplished when it comes to a nation marketing insecurity as a feature. I can’t wait to see the marketing slogans “It’s just one more phone” or “Reach out and finger someone.”

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