The FBI has arrested a Twitter troll who was uploading an animated GIF that would trigger epileptic seizures of those he didn't like. They were able to look into his account and show how he was bragging he would to do it. The charge is cyberstalking.
Leo says that the FBI paid more to uncrack a terrorist's iPhone than director James Comey will make in his career as director. And that's your tax payer dollars. What they ended up doing is buying a "zero day exploit" from a group of hackers in Israel.
The FBI has figured out how to crack into the phone of the San Bernardino terrorist, and is now offering its assistance to law enforcement across the country in unlocking iPhones. The FBI has no plans to disclose the vulnerability to Apple, either.
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Robert wants to know why the FBI just doesn't talk to the NSA about the data they want on the terrorist's phone. In reality, Apple's position is that the metadata from the carrier itself tells a lot of detail. But there may be a legal wall that would prohibit them from cooperating. The NSA just announced that they are helping, though. So that leads Leo to believe that there's another goal here. Their goal is to get the keys to the kingdom and force Apple to give them a backdoor to their phones.
Apple is putting up a spirited defense of encryption and privacy, going to court against the FBI, who wants them to build a way to crack open an iPhone 5c used by a terrorist in San Bernadino. The irony is, that the government owns the phone but they changed the password. Now it can get wiped out after 10 tries. Leo has always said it's all a side show. We live in a surveillance economy. Apple surveils us by our data, and the FBI surveils us by the same thing. Why are they going to court over this one phone? It's the keys to the kingdom.
Apple has filed its response to the Department of Justice on the FBI's demand to unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone. Nilay Patel, a professional attorney and founder of The Verge, says Apple's response is more of a PR response than a legal one. Normally you'd give the strongest argument first and then give additional arguments, but Apple started with the easiest-to-understand argument first. Among the arguments Apple used is a free speech defense.
Michael says that the longer Apple can appeal and resist the court order, the better it looks for Apple. Leo says yes and no, because we now know that Apple's encryption isn't one way and that they can open any phone if they choose to give in to the FBI's demands. Leo suspects that Apple will eventually give in and when they do, there are encryption programs in 70 different nations that are uncrackable.
The FBI, through a court order, has demanded that Apple unlock an iPhone which was used by one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino mass killings. Even though Apple has opened 70 iPhones for the FBI, they have never actually altered iOS to create what they believe would be a 'back door' to every single phone. A judge agreed with the FBI that Apple must comply, but Tim Cook has taken a public stance of resistance to the court order. Even more surprising, the FBI changed the password themselves already.
A British teenager has hacked both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Using the tried and true method of social engineering, the teen managed to hack into an email account of a DOJ employee and then used that information to call in and gain access. Then he published the names and addresses of FBI and Department of Homeland Security agents online. Though the teen has been arrested, he claims to have over 300GB of more data that he plans to publish online.
President Obama along with the FBI confirmed that the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack did indeed originate from North Korea. Security experts are questioning this conclusion, however. It's very difficult to determine the origin of a hack. This attack, like most attacks, was routed through up to 6 countries before getting to Sony. There are a number of articles saying that this couldn't possibly be the North Koreans, and yet the FBI says they know for sure that it is. We don't have all of the information they have, however, and they may have the smoking gun.