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Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Israelis did it

It's been one of those days. I started writing this post hours ago and never finished it....

As I am sure many of you have already heard, the FBI has managed to hack the cell phones of the San Bernadino terrorists 'all by itself' and has dropped the lawsuit it had filed against Apple, the manufacturer of the iPhone. But they didn't exactly do it all by themselves. They were helped by an Israeli startup called Cellebrite.
The Israeli mobile forensics firm Cellebrite helped the FBI hack into the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, NBC reports, citing industry sources.
The firm has been rumored to be behind the FBI’s newfound ability to access the device, thanks to a previous and unconfirmed report from an Israeli newspaper. 
Neither Cellebrite nor the Department of Justice has confirmed the reports.
The FBI has routinely contracted Cellebrite over the last five years. The company, which publicly boasts of its ability to hack into Apple devices, has received over $2 million in purchase orders from the agency since 2012.
The Justice Department on Monday withdrew its case against Apple, telling a federal court it was able to unlock the device without the tech giant's help.
Earlier story here

As usual, one of the things I do for a living is to try to match investors with Israeli high tech companies....

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At 2:48 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

I found it incredible (un-credible) from the start that the US Govt would not be able to find a way without coercing Apple. And there is more and newer from Israel on the way, which will nullify the entire discussion. Just watch and wait.

At 8:13 AM, Blogger Inmemoryof Yossi said...

Netanyahu would be smart to offer incentives to move all the high tech companies into Shomron and Yehuda. All medical research too. Let the EU choke themselves to not use a Yiddishe kup.
I bet Obummer wasn't happy they had to ask Israelis / Jews for help.

At 5:01 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

You're an attorney. The FBI is run by attorneys. This is what attorneys do. When confronted by a hard problem the first thing the US government always does is sue people. That's their go-to approach. And because the organization is large, poorly run and segregated into silos the leadership doesn't know or even much care what the various silos are capable of. Techies and forensics analysts don't run the FBI, they work FOR the FBI. Of course the FBI and Cellebrite had this capability all along. It's called "NAND Mirroring" and it's fairly well understood albeit laborious to implement. But the FBI really doesn't care about that. It cares about the next phone and hundreds of phones after that. If they can legally force the issue it's cheaper and faster (in theory) than replicating the technology that works over and over.


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