New York City uses Israeli tools to crack into locked iPhones

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GrayKey can bypass iPhone security
iPhone security is no match for Cellebrite.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Law enforcement agents in New York City have been cracking into locked iPhones since January 2018, according to a new report.

Agencies are using a tool called Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED) that’s developed by Israeli firm Cellebrite. It is said to have cost at least $200,000 and allows a full file system extraction.

Larry Ellison doesn’t agree with how Apple handled its FBI standoff

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Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison was one of Steve Jobs' best friends.
Photo: Oracle Corporate Communications

Oracle founder Larry Ellison may have been Steve Jobs’ BFF and even considered buying Apple at one point, but he doesn’t agree with everything the company does. In a recent interview, Ellison criticized Apple’s refusal to help hack an iPhone belonging to a shooter in the 2015 San Bernardino attack.

The case blew up into a massive standoff between Apple, in favor of privacy, and the FBI. Speaking on Fox, Ellison called Apple’s behavior, “bizarre.”

James Comey isn’t a fan of iPhone encryption

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James Comey
In his new book, James Comey says that law enforcement should have a backdoor into locked iPhones.
Photo: FBI

James Comey is an controversial figure. His new book shows he’s strongly opposed to Donald Trump, but he may have also helped get Trump elected President. And the former FBI director is opposed to the encryption that protects the privacy of iPhone users.

Comey’ s book, A Higher Loyalty, says Apple’s decision to encrypt the contents of iOS devices by default “drove me crazy.”

Congress criticizes FBI quest for iPhone ‘backdoor’

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Apple help
The FBI took some Congressional-strength flack today for wanting an iPhone backdoor for law enforcement.
Photo: Dave Newman/Flickr CC

Congress has called the FBI on the carpet for its attempt to require Apple to build a backdoor into the iPhone. A letter went out today from a bi-partisan group of representatives  accusing the law enforcement agency of over-stating difficulties in unlocked iPhones involved in crimes.

The ten congresspeople wrote that the FBI deliberately didn’t explore all the options to unlock the iPhone belonging to a mass shooter because they wanted an excuse to force Apple to modify iOS so it’s easy for law enforcement to access.

Silicon Valley FBI boss says the bureau loves Apple

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Apple help
Apple and the FBI are on the same team sometimes.
Photo: Dave Newman/Flickr (CC)

Apple’s relationship with the FBI isn’t nearly as contentious as some government officials and critics would have you believe.

That’s according to the FBI’s San Francisco chief, John Bennett, who says his office and Apple actually enjoy a great relationship. In fact, Apple actually trains FBI agents on how to do their jobs better.

Apple helping FBI with locked smartphone of Texas shooter

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Apple help
Apple contacted the FBI when it learned the agency could not access the smartphone of the gunman of the Texas church massacre.
Photo: Dave Newman/Flickr CC

Apple says it “immediately” reached out to the FBI to help the agency unlock the encrypted smartphone of the shooter in the Texas church massacre.

The FBI declined to name the type of phone used by suspected shooter, Devin Kelley, but ABC News reported earlier today that the device is indeed an Apple handset.

FBI can keep iPhone hacking details secret

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hacking
Hacking the iPhone caused a standoff between Apple and FBI last year.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A U.S. court ruled over the weekend that the FBI won’t have to reveal to Apple exactly how it was able to hack a terrorist’s iPhone, since this could present security issues.

Federal judge Tanya Chutkan said that naming the vendor which aided the FBI, as well as the amount of money that was paid to it, could invite cyberattacks against the company. In addition, it might lead to the hacking tool which was used being stolen.

Leaked recording reveals Apple’s plan to stop leakers

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Photos of alleged glass panels for the iPhone 8, 7s and 7s Plus.
Apple's on a mission to keep iPhone 8 parts like these from leaking.
Photo: Reddit

Tim Cook’s mission to double down on secrecy at Apple is producing results that even Steve Jobs would be envious of, based on a new report that details the extreme lengths Apple has gone through to stop leaks.

Ironically, a recording of Apple’s security team discussing leaks has been leaked online, giving all-new details on how Apple prevents employees and factory workers from leaking information and parts to the public.

Senator says FBI spent $900,000 to hack San Bernardino iPhone

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hacking
We may finally know how much the FBI shelled out for answers.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Ever since the FBI got inside the iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino terrorist shooter, there has been speculation over how much the hacking exercise cost the Feds.

A year later, we finally have an answer — and it’s a whole lot of cash, but maybe less than you thought it would be.