Apple vs. FBI

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Billy T, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    If I assert as a fact a falsehood, correct it and present the correct facts.
     
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  3. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    Copying iPhone state would seem to be problematic without repeated physical disassembly and access to the components. The flash memory is contact-mounted on a logic board not designed for piecemeal disassembly and repeated resocketing. It's a recipe for inviting charges of destruction/spoilation of evidence at which point the other side could point out that there surely was evidence/context beneficial destroyed. And if the number of tries counter is stored elsewhere (like onboard the A7 processor package) it's game over.

    https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone 5 Teardown/10525

    Certainly ordering Apple to undo all of this security would be way easier than breaching it.
    https://www.apple.com/business/docs/iOS_Security_Guide.pdf

    But both Apple and I doubt the US Government can legally make such an order. The US Government got the order by applying to a magistrate judge without Apple having a chance to argue. Anyone can make self-serving arguments if not confronted with skilled opposition.

    https://ecf.cacd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/DktRpt.pl?635110 (PACER link -- I'll try and get a free RECAP link later)
     
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    The contents of the FLASH can certainly be copied - but then they have to be decrypted. And that could take centuries using a brute-force approach depending on the length of the keys used.
     
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  7. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    No need to. rpenner has done that already in post 22.
     
  8. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Why do you say this? Would the approach be to first remove the flash memory chip from the board or to apply "reading voltages" to various lines of it while still on the board with those voltages going both ways on the fine printed wires - doing "god knows what" to them - for example allowing the "Wipe clean" function to activate or simple over write some bits in the Flash memory. (like flip the seventh bit of each word in memory.) I am reminded of the bull in the china shop now.

    I'm far from a geek, but bet that even knowing the state of every bit (1 or 0) in the entire Flash memory is not enough without knowing how they are associated. For example if 64 bits make one computer cycle word, you must know the order that these 64 bit are in the word. I'm too lazy to even attempt the calculation but bet more than a billion different words can be made by combinations and permutations of each set of 64 bits.
     
  9. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    If you 64 bits of which n are 1 and 64-n are 0, then that is \(\begin{pmatrix}64 \\ n \end{pmatrix} = \frac{64!}{n! \, (64 - n)!}\) possible arrangements of the bits of which only one is correct.

    And from my approximation studies: \( \begin{pmatrix}64 \\ n \end{pmatrix} \approx 10^{ \frac{1434}{79} - \frac{3038}{65} \left( \frac{ n - 32}{64} \right)^2 - \frac{3814}{37} \left( \frac{ n - 32}{64} \right)^4}\).

    If the number of 1 bits is between 8 and 56 (inclusive) then there are over a billion combinations possible.

    But this calculation doesn't have anything specific to do with the manner in which iPhones encrypt data in flash memory or on bus lines.
     
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    The industry standard method would be to remove the part, reball it, mount on a second PWB and read out the contents. It is common enough that it would be low risk.
    That's not an issue for deciphering the machine code (disassembly is a straightforward process.) It is the decrypting the encrypted parts of the memory that's the big issue.
     
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    If Apple had the ability and yet refused to give the government access, I could maybe see a case.

    But I don't see how the government has any business making Apple do some development work to get access to the phone.

    What will they do? Hold guns to the heads of employees? Not let them leave their seats until they solve it? Not seriously, no. But how do you make someone create something?

    I think they can't. I think their ploy here is to publicly elicit sympathy against The Big Bad Mega-Corporation That's Harboring Criminals That Want To Hurt Our Babies.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Software cannot do anything unless it's activated and allowed to run.
     
  13. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    I'm told by a recently minted lawyer that my arguments are weak and that a better case can be made on the fact-based claim that the order is unduly burdensome.
     
  14. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    512
    You can deduce this from the chip type, the construction of the phone, the processor and the software. Yes, it's tricky but not impossible.

    Side note: Flash is not always binary. Multi-level cells are common these days. They pack more than one bit into a cell, e.g. a cell can have several volatge levels which then read as 0, 1, 2, 3 ... this will be the same as 2 binary cells. There seem to be cells with up to 8 level being used currently:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-level_cell

    ... but that doesn't change the feact that one can read and decode the contens by simulating the device around the chip.
     
  15. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    So, I caught this by Bill Blunden : "Apple’s iPhone: the Backdoor Is Already There" read article @ : http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/22/apples-iphone-the-backdoor-is-already-there/'

    So, who is Bill Blunden ? ...from the Link : " Bill Blunden is a journalist whose current areas of inquiry include information security, anti-forensics, and institutional analysis. He is the author of several books, including “The Rootkit Arsenal” and“Behold a Pale Farce: Cyberwar, Threat Inflation, and the Malware-Industrial Complex.” Bill is the lead investigator at Below Gotham Labs and a member of the California State University Employees Union, Chapter 305. "

    For what it's worth, because...well...you never know...
     
  16. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    RECAP appears to be working again, following a ten-day outage and a backlog of updating about 1 hour long.

    https://archive.org/details/gov.uscourts.cacd.635110

    2016-02-16 18 EX PARTE APPLICATION ORDER COMPELLING APPLE INC. TO ASSIST AGENTS IN SEARCH Filed by Plaintiff USA as to Defendant Black Lexus IS300 California License Plate 5KGD203, handicap placard 360466F, Vehicle Identification Number JTHBD192X50094434. (mrgo) (Entered: 02/17/2016)

    https://archive.org/details/gov.uscourts.cacd.640468

    2016-02-19 1 GOVERNMENT'S MOTION TO COMPEL APPLE INC TO COMPLY WITH THIS COURT'S FEBRUARY 16, 2016 ORDER COMPELLING ASSISTANCE IN SEARCH; EXHIBIT Filed by Plaintiff USA as to Defendant In the Matter of the Search of an Apple iPhone Seized During the Execution of a Search Warrant on a Black Lexus IS300, California License Plate 35KGD203. Motion set for hearing on 3/22/2016 at 01:00 PM before Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym. (mrgo) (Entered: 02/19/2016)
    2016-02-19 10 SCHEDULING ORDER (CASE NUMBER CORRECTED ONLY) by Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym. (kca) (Entered: 02/22/2016)
    2016-02-25 16 NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION to Vacate Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search Filed by Plaintiff Apple Inc as to Defendant In the Matter of the Search of an Apple iPhone Seized During the Execution of a Search Warrant on a Black Lexus IS300, California License Plate 35KGD203. Motion set for hearing on 3/22/2016 at 01:00 PM before Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym.
     
  17. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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  18. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    Reportedly, a group of victims families in San Bernadino will also file papers with Court. The deadline for non-parties to file proposed briefs is Thursday.

    Elsewhere, in a Brooklyn Courthouse (U.S. Federal Court for Eastern District of New York) a judge has ruled against the Government on a very similar attempt to use the All Writs Act (AWA) to order Apple to write new phone software at the Government's behest.

    Eastern District of New York 1:15-mc-01902-JO Order requiring Apple, Inc. to assist in the execution of a search warrant issued by the court et al

    [RECAP (archive.org) Main Page for the Case]

    2015-10-08 1 MOTION to Compel by United States of America.
    2015-10-19 10.1 Brief of Amici Curiae by American Civil Liberties Union Request to file, DENIED.
    2015-10-19 11 NOTICE by Apple Inc. RESPONSE TO COURTS OCTOBER 9, 2015 MEMORANDUM AND ORDER (Dreifach, Kenneth) (Entered: 10/19/2015)
    2015-10-22 15 REPLY in Support of the Government's Application for an All Writs Act Order and in Opposition to Apple Inc.'s Response filed by United States of America.
    2015-10-27 19 OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings held on 10/26/2015, before Judge James Orenstein.
    2015-10-28 20 NOTICE by Apple Inc. Supplemental Brief pursuant to Courts Civil Conference Minute Order
    2015-10-28 21 REPLY in Support of the Government's Application for an All Writs Act Order (supplemental) filed by United States of America.
    2016-02-29 29 ORDER denying 1 Motion to Compel. For the reasons set forth in the attached document, the motion is denied. Ordered by Magistrate Judge James Orenstein on 2/29/2016.
     
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  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Michael Hayden, a retired US official with extensive experience in counter-terrorism and security issues, and a career record of supporting increasing anti-terrorism surveillance (as well as torture interrogations, drone strikes against unidentified persons, etc) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Hayden_(general) - has publicly supported Apple in this, on the grounds that the threat from having created security holes in this kind of software would be greater than the threat in not having access to such data.
     
  20. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

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    2,973
    since when is the government not able too crack such codes. they have specific people for such things--in the FBI, CIA, and above. it appears there is more of this situation than what is being stated.
     
  21. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    The government didn't say they couldn't crack the phone; instead the FBI said that they couldn't crack the phone and didn't ask the rest of the government.
     
  22. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

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    2,973
    ahh-- i see-- i had no clue of this. now that, that is stated, why did they not pass it on too higher-ups?--seems odd that they did not.
     
  23. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    As I understand it, they have only 10 false attempts before the data in phone is wipped clean (memory reformated or something). I think what FBI is asking for is for Apple to remove this self destruct part of the OS, not really a "back door" but the same for anyone who can make a "zillion" tries at guessing the password.
     

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