fbi-hacked-tormail-users

You may remember the news a few months ago where Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook shot and killed 14 people and injured 21 others at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California on Dec. 2, 2015, before being shot to death by police.

In the chaotic aftermath of the shootings, FBI investigators tried to recover data from the iPhone of one of the shooters. They asked a technician in the California county to reset the phone’s iCloud password. But doing that eliminated the possibility of an automatic backup to the Apple iCloud servers that might have turned up more clues to the origins of the terrorist attack that killed 14 people. So they made a critical error.

After that the Justice Department asked Apple to turn off the feature that erases an iPhone’s data after 10 failed attempts to unlock the device so that investigators can run all possible combinations to break the four-digit passcode on Farook’s phone. A federal judge ordered Apple to help the FBI.

Apple immediately challenged the court order. “The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement to customers. “This order … has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.”

“The FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on

[the shooter’s] iPhone,” Cook added. “In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.”

All of that would be fascinating enough, but it gets more bizarre. Cyber-security expert John McAfee (creator of McAfee anti-virus) is running for president in the US as a member of the Libertarian Party. He’s know for all kinds of strange behavior. He wrote an article for Business Insider offering to crack the encryption on his own, for free. The article brought up some fascinating points.

“If the government succeeds in getting this back door, it will eventually get a back door into all encryption, and our world, as we know it, is over. In spite of the FBI’s claim that it would protect the back door, we all know that’s impossible. There are bad apples everywhere, and there only needs to be one in the US government. Then a few million dollars, some beautiful women (or men), and a yacht trip to the Caribbean might be all it takes for our enemies to have full access to our secrets.”

He stated: The fundamental question is this: Why can’t the FBI crack the encryption on its own? It has the full resources of the best the US government can provide.

With all due respect to Tim Cook and Apple, I work with a team of the best hackers on the planet. These hackers attend Defcon in Las Vegas, and they are legends in their local hacking groups, such as HackMiami. They are all prodigies, with talents that defy normal human comprehension. About 75% are social engineers. The remainder are hardcore coders. I would eat my shoe on the Neil Cavuto show if we could not break the encryption on the San Bernardino phone. This is a pure and simple fact.

So stay tuned. There is going to be a lot of intrigue and news before this is worked out!