Cops 3-D print murder victim’s finger to unlock iPhone

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The iPhone 6's Touch ID sensor is greatly improved over the 5s &mdash for me, anyway.
At least they didn't cut his finger off.
Photo: Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Instead of running to Apple to unlock iPhones involved in criminal case, cops may have found a new path to get past Touch ID’s security: 3D printing fingers.

Police officers asked for aid from the lab of professor Anil Jain at the University of Michigan this year to help them recreate a murder victim’s fingerprints by 3D printing each digit so they can attempt to unlock the device, which they think may contain clues that would help solve the case.

FBI promises more litigation in its anti-encryption vendetta

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iPhone hack
The FBI isn't backing down in its war on end-to-end encryption.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Fighting Apple may, according to some, have been the FBI’s worst PR disaster in history, but even its failure to convince Congress of its goals isn’t stopping its war on encryption — with FBI director James Comey telling reporters this week that more litigation can be expected as the feds seek to hack devices.

iPhone hacking is easy, claims Indian telecom minister

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spicesv2
Has India come up with a fool-proof way to hack iPhones? Apparently so.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

So far this year, vulnerabilities have been exploited to help unlock the older-generation iPhone 5s and 5c, both as part of murder investigations. However, the newer iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, and 6s Plus remain secure devices no government has been able to break into.

Although that record may have been broken in India, according to the country’s telecom minister.

Apple denies giving China its source code

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Bruce Sewell
Apple's top lawyer went back to Congress today.
Photo: House Committee on the Judiciary Hearings

Chinese authorities have demanded Apple give the country complete access to its source code within the last two years, but Apple says it has refused to comply with the government’s demands.

Apple’s top lawyer, Bruce Sewell, defended the company’s position before U.S. lawmakers at a congressional hearing today, after the iPhone-maker was accused by law enforcement officials of refusing to help the U.S. government while at the same time freely giving information to China for business reasons.

Apple claims FBI hasn’t exhausted all options to hack Brooklyn iPhone

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iPhone SE 14
Apple's hacking battle with FBI rages on.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is pushing back against the federal government’s demands to unlock another iPhone, this time related to a drug case in Brooklyn.

In a new filing posted on Friday, the iPhone-maker has asked a New York judge to dismiss the federal government’s appeal against Apple, claiming the DoJ has not proved that it has exhausted all resources to unlock the iPhone in question.

Feds can’t tell Apple how they cracked San Bernardino iPhone

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iPhone 6s
The FBI may not legally own the process used to crack the iPhone 5c under investigation.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

We’ve heard plenty of bluster about how the FBI won’t tell Apple how it cracked the iPhone 5c at the heart of the San Bernardino shooting case, but there’s another possibility, too: that the Feds can’t tell Apple how it did it.

Why? Because according to a new report, citing Obama administration sources, it may not actually have legal ownership of the method in question.

Cellebrite probably wasn’t the brains behind FBI’s iPhone hack

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iPhone hack
Israeli tech firm may not have been the ones who hacked San Bernardino iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The FBI signed a $15,000 contract with Israeli-tech firm Cellebrite to crack the iPhone 5c at the heart of the San Bernardino shooting investigation. However, according to a new report, Cellebrite may not have been the ones who successfully hacked the smartphone, after all.

Instead, the Feds reportedly broke into the iPhone 5c with the aid of a group of professional hackers who discovered and brought to the bureau a previously unknown iOS flaw — letting them get around the iPhone’s four-digit pincode feature, without accidentally erasing the iPhone’s data in the process.

iPhone 5c hackers think they’re close to cracking iPhone 6

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iPhone hack
The iPhone 6 is much tougher to hack than the iPhone 5c.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Israeli tech firm Cellebrite, a.k.a. the mobile forensics firm which helped the FBI hack the iPhone 5c at the center of the San Bernardino shooting case, is reportedly “optimistic” about hacking the more secure iPhone 6.

The story in this instance involves an Italian father, Leonardo Fabbretti, wanting to access the iPhone photos, notes and messages belonging to his adopted son Dama, who passed away from bone cancer last September at the age of 13.

FBI: It’s ‘too early’ to tell if gunman’s iPhone contains useful evidence

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iPhone hack
Was hacking the San Bernardino iPhone worth it?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The FBI’s campaign against Apple has been called its biggest PR disaster in history, but were its efforts to hack the San Bernardino iPhone worth it? In the FBI’s own words, it’s still too soon to tell.

According to a senior FBI official, the organization won’t reveal what — if anything — it’s learned until it’s finished examining all the data on the handset.