CSUSB cyber security expert comments on FBI’s hack of terrorist’s iPhone

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The Press-Enterprise — The U.S. government’s groundbreaking hack of the iPhone used by one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino mass shooting provided a digital snapshot of the tangled legal and technical landscape just behind the screens of our electronic devices.

“I was not surprised” that someone found a way into the phone, Cal State San Bernardino cyber security professor Tony Coulson said on Tuesday, March 29. He said there are plenty of digital hotshots who would focus on Apple when the Farook case emerged.

Although Apple does not take part in such competitions, Coulson said the hacker community regular engages in company-sponsored “pwn to own” competitions to find weak spots in software. “I have not seen one where anybody has not broken into any of the products,” he said.

“I was more surprised that the FBI couldn’t hack in. Maybe they were looking for the legal precedent” with the force of a terrorism case, Coulson said, “but in the end they backed off.”

The article was published March 29, 2016.

Read the complete article at “SAN BERNARDINO SHOOTING: Fast-changing terrain may alter future encryption-security fights.”

 

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