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Encryption Government Iphone Security

Russian Authorities Are Trying To Unlock iPhone 4S From Russian Ambassador's Killer (techcrunch.com) 106

The off-duty police officer who killed the Russian ambassador in Turkey was shot by Turkish special forces minutes after the crime. He had an iPhone 4S on him, and now, Haberturk, Turkish authorities asked for Russia's help to unlock the iPhone. From a report: Given that it's an iPhone 4S and it has a 4-digit passcode, it should be quite easy to unlock the device. There are many solutions out there to do this and authorities don't even need to ask for Apple's help. The iPhone 4S is quite old now and it was a much less secure device. First, the iPhone 4S runs iOS 5 to iOS 9, but many iPhone 4S owners didn't update to recent iOS versions. If the device runs iOS 7 or earlier, getting the content of the device is a piece of cake. The content of the device isn't encrypted as Apple started encrypting all data with iOS 8. Authorities can access this data quite easily. Second, if the iPhone is running iOS 8, remember that the iPhone 4S didn't have a Secure Enclave and Touch ID sensor. The Secure Enclave is a coprocessor that utilizes a secure boot process to make sure that it's uncompromized. It has a secret unique ID not accessible by the rest of the phone, Apple or anyone -- it's like a private key. The phone generates ephemeral keys (think public keys) to talk with the Secure Enclave. They only work with the unique ID to encrypt and decrypt the data on the coprocessor.
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Russian Authorities Are Trying To Unlock iPhone 4S From Russian Ambassador's Killer

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  • Sounds like you got it all figured out then...

    In other news, somebody in some other country in the world is having a problem connecting to the internet. Did they try turning their computer off and on again?

    • Re:Well (Score:5, Funny)

      by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Friday December 23, 2016 @03:21PM (#53545181)

      Sounds like you got it all figured out then...

      I was just going to say, all they need to do is torture the shooter. Oh, the Turkish Special Forces shot the shooter dead . . . ? Well, then torture his family. They have already been arrested anyway.

      What . . . ? His family members don't know the password . . . ? Well, torture them anyway . . . it will keep the torturers well-practiced in the fine art of torture . . .

  • Here comes WWI all over again, complete with alliances of convenience between nations that aren't very friendly and escalating cycles of intervention and retaliation.

    sPh

    • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Friday December 23, 2016 @03:17PM (#53545171)
      Lets make war great again
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Here comes WWI all over again, complete with alliances of convenience between nations that aren't very friendly and escalating cycles of intervention and retaliation.

      sPh

      If Russia and the USA are going to war, the winner will be China.

      • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

        There wont be much left to win.

      • If Russia and the USA are going to war, the winner will be China.

        Yes, because the last world war worked out so great for them.

      • Unless one or the other succeeds with a decapitation first strike, the US and Russia going to war means the destruction of both. If Russia is destroyed, where would China buy the military technology to use to conquer the rest of the world? If the US is destroyed, where would they get the cash to buy said technology if they did find an alternate source? Global economies are so throughly integrated these days, and nuclear weapons make a decisive WW2-esque victory impossible, that a conflict of World War s

        • If the USA and Russia were destroyed (assuming Yoorp gets splatted too), China could invade pretty much anywhere they wanted with spears.

        • by skegg ( 666571 )

          Unless one or the other succeeds with a decapitation first strike

          That's where subs come into the picture.

          • Ahh, the nuclear triad, with nukes spread out between fixed land based missiles, sub missiles, and airborne missiles. One of the politicians didn't know what that even was, IIRC.

            Oh, well. With so many running, he or she is almost certainly one of those who lost, thank god.

      • If Russia and the USA are going to war, the winner will be cockroaches.

        FTFY.

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      I don't think this equates to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.

    • Here comes WWI all over again, complete with alliances of convenience between nations that aren't very friendly and escalating cycles of intervention and retaliation.

      sPh

      Huh? I thought Trump hand a man crush on Putin?

    • WWI - Austrian crown prince was assassinated in Sarajevo. Here, Russian ambassador, not Putin himself, got assassinated.

      WWI - Austria suspected Serbia of being behind the assassination, and that triggered a chainreaction in WWI. Here, who would Russia suspect of being behind the assassination? Any Arab country opposed to Assad?

  • Those disgusting freedom hating commies are trying to break into an iPhone and violate the privacy of someone that they have already killed. What kind of an inhuman spying evil government would want to do that?
    • Those disgusting freedom hating commies are trying to break into an iPhone and violate the privacy of someone that they have already killed. What kind of an inhuman spying evil government would want to do that?

      Just assuming that you ain't being sarcastic, since it's hard to tell anymore... particularly since you've been modded 'Informative' rather than 'Funny'

      First things first - Putin may be ex KGB, but Russia is not Communist. If anything, it's now an oligarchy, which ain't much better

      Second - the 'someone that they have already killed' - was the assassin. His privacy is the last thing that should be on anybody's mind - he forfeited it when he killed the envoy

      Finally, the reason anyone wants to find out

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        First thing is first. How will Turkey be held accountable for the murder of a ambassador by a Turkish national on camera, a police officer (or ex police officer?), upon the most absurd basis. The murdered moving around behind the ambassador on camera, ensuring they were in full view of the camera with no one doing anything or questioning anything, whilst the murderer randomly fiddles with their gun. Turkey should face some severe diplomatic consequences for the almost laughably incompetent security failure.

  • Crap article (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Striek ( 1811980 ) on Friday December 23, 2016 @03:36PM (#53545233)

    Second, if the iPhone is running iOS 8, remember that the iPhone 4S didn't have a Secure Enclave and Touch ID sensor. The Secure Enclave is a coprocessor that utilizes a secure boot process to make sure that it's uncompromized. It has a secret unique ID not accessible by the rest of the phone, Apple or anyone -- it's like a private key. The phone generates ephemeral keys (think public keys) to talk with the Secure Enclave. They only work with the unique ID to encrypt and decrypt the data on the coprocessor.

    I fail to see how this rather technical (to the layperson) information improves the article in any way. How does extolling the security of newer devices improve this? It doesn't have whatever doodad (the secure enclave) you're talking about - so why include all this useless (imho) information in the article at all?

    It's a pretty crap article really, spending over half its time talking about stuff that has nothing to do with the subject at hand, not to mention the subpar proofreading.

    • There are off-the-shelf solutions to suck the data off a 4S. Russians aren't "trying to unlock iPhone 4S" - if they have it, it's done. The author is just trying to be a show-off know-it-all.

      Cool, story bro - you read the Apple iOS security whitepaper.

      • Couldn't they just jailbreak it? I can see every file on my jailbroken 5S running 9.3.3, and I'm pretty sure there are still JB utilities out there for 8.x
    • If you read between the lines I think this information is to contrast this situation with the FBI-Apple conflict last year, where they were trying to unlock the iPhone of that terrorist shooter. That phone had the enclave chip which is why it was so hard to break into, and why the FBI made such a stink about needing Apple's help. Here, none of that applies.
      • Russia, like the US, is one of the few large state actors with the facilities to start nano-shearing away the tops of the chips and mapping it out, anyway.

  • After all, since the guy used to work under Erdogan, I'm surprised the Russians even have the killer's phone.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It is not surprising at all.

      This assassination is being used to bring Turkey and Russia closer together. Turkey is blaming it on "gulenists" - a rich old cleric who split from Erdogan a couple of years ago and moved to Pennsylvania to avoid the dictator's wrath. Putin knows it was blowback from Aleppo and had nothing to do with gulenists, but it serves his purpose to let Erdogan do his conspiracy thing because Putin wants to peel Turkey away from NATO. And since Erdogan has basically gone full-dictator i

      • If Turkey leaves NATO, it will be a good thing, and have an unintended corrective effect on Western foreign policy

        Turkey being in NATO made sense during the Cold War and during the era when it had Kemalist leaders. At the time, the Soviets were the #1 enemy, and you'd rather have had someone like Turkey in NATO rather than in the Warsaw pact.

        Since 1991, when the Warsaw Pact folded and the Soviet Union came unravelled, the key reason for NATO to remain was gone. As it is, even after 9/11, Western polic

      • You watch, Turkey is going to be the first country to ever leave NATO and its going to happen in less than four years. And Cheeto Mussolini is going to cheer it on too.

        Sorry to bring you the bad news but France already did. 50 years ago.

  • by bjdevil66 ( 583941 ) on Friday December 23, 2016 @03:41PM (#53545253)
    Like your phone or not, we all owe a huge vote of apprecation and thanks to the engineers at Apple, Google, Motorola, etc.. They have to deal with countries trying to hack their devices all the time, along with every serious hacker out there on the planet - and for the most part they have been doing a great job of keeping our data on our devices private.

    The leadership of those conpanies also deserve a pat on the back. Unlike the phone companies that climbed into bed with Uncle Sam like a whore all out of rubbers but ready to get it on anyways, Tim Cook and his ilk stood their ground on this issue when the feds came calling. And I don't care why they did it (business reasons vs. goodwill for the average consumer); They did it, and that's all that really matters in the end.

    (This says nothing about what Google and others do when it comes to privacy and collecting data for business efforts, but that's another issue...)
  • Why don't they ask the NSA to do it?

    lololololol
  • Surely this alone is cause for the man to be shot down like a dog!

    Had it been known that even a Third World policeman of low rank carried such a primitive, hideously obsolete device, I am certain every Apple fanboi in the Free World would have joined me in calling for his death by slow torture.

    Such extreme gaucherie calls for a level of punishment that will deter others from committing this kind of appalling tech faux pas!

  • by EvilSS ( 557649 ) on Friday December 23, 2016 @04:13PM (#53545371)
    Um, is this something released by authorities or is everyone just assuming? The 4s has the ability to have a longer passcode, as well as an alpha-numeric password if one chooses. If you only use numbers the lock screen is presented with the numberpad like default but the code can be of any length greater than 3 digits.
    • by mlts ( 1038732 )

      The iPhone 4 had this as well. This is more of an iOS feature. Set a password (not a PIN), and if your password has all numbers in it, you will get a PINpad, not a full A-Z typewriter allowing you to type in your code and hit the enter button, no matter the length.

  • by buss_error ( 142273 ) on Friday December 23, 2016 @04:17PM (#53545397) Homepage Journal

    I wonder, back in the dark ages of no cell phones, how police ever managed to solve any crimes. I mean, wow. Imagine not having something as useful as a personal snitch that we call a cell phone.

    I've said it many times, and I'll go on saying it - I would not allow a cell phone on my property if I didn't have to have one for employment.

    A cell phone is for my convenience - yet most frequently it is used to interrupt me, inconvenience me, and generally make my life a pain in the neck. And on top of which, it gives LEO information they can misinterpret to use against me. Someone murdered? Why, my phone was recorded as being within a half a block of the crime scene - I *must* be guilty. Never mind it's on the way to work, or doctor, or whatever. Cell phone evidence is almost never exculpatory, it's almost always used (or misused) to convict.

    All one need do to get a chill up their spine is spend half an hour with LEO tools and a cell phone to understand just how bad it really is. That, or just read.

    • I wonder, back in the dark ages of no cell phones, how police ever managed to solve any crimes.

      Simple. They took the suspect to a back room and worked him over with a rubber hose.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    To involve the Russians. The Turks may not actually need help doing this, but being transparent in investigating this with the Russians is important.

  • If it were Tim Cook on the floor with his brains blown out, Apple would be falling all over itself to unlock the phone.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    terrorists using iphones, you cant make this shit up fam

  • I don't know how secure enclave compares to Samsung Knox, but Android makes it much either to sideload craft-specific apps that Apple is probably not going to approve for App Store, like Bombmaking for Dummies. Plus, you can get a Galaxy Note 7 and then your phone is already a bomb.

  • Pass code is 1234.

Almost anything derogatory you could say about today's software design would be accurate. -- K.E. Iverson

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