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  #261  
Old 03-21-2016, 07:34 PM
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So for a while now, rumors have been going around that no one in the IC believes that cracking the iPhone is beyond the NSA's capabilities, and that the FBI just wants the precedent (hence the less than unified front in the IC).

And now the FBI has said another party has demonstrated the possibility of an alternative. Is it just the down and dirty acid method? Or do they have something fundamentally stronger than what we've seen already? Or does the NSA already have the private key?
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  #262  
Old 03-21-2016, 07:55 PM
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So for a while now, rumors have been going around that no one in the IC believes that cracking the iPhone is beyond the NSA's capabilities, and that the FBI just wants the precedent (hence the less than unified front in the IC).

And now the FBI has said another party has demonstrated the possibility of an alternative. Is it just the down and dirty acid method? Or do they have something fundamentally stronger than what we've seen already? Or does the NSA already have the private key?
The FBI might also simply be concerned to a far greater extent than would the NSA or the Defense Department in maintaining at least the option for admissibility in court for any information potentially retrieved.
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  #263  
Old 03-21-2016, 08:25 PM
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I would be stunned if NSA didn't know how to break an iPhone...absolutely stunned.

I'd also be stunned if they were willing to share that method with FBI.
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  #264  
Old 03-21-2016, 08:36 PM
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I would be stunned if NSA didn't know how to break an iPhone...absolutely stunned.

I'd also be stunned if they were willing to share that method with FBI.
My question was more about the technical details...do they have some fundamentally new techniques (either mathematical or computational), or are they just better at some known hypothetical method (like dissolving the chip cover with acid, or perhaps creating thousands of virtual clones to test)?
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  #265  
Old 03-21-2016, 08:36 PM
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My question was more about the technical details...do they have some fundamentally new techniques (either mathematical or computational), or are they just better at some known hypothetical method (like dissolving the chip cover with acid, or perhaps creating thousands of virtual clones to test)?
I would imagine its more about having the available computing power to do that...their budget is massive and its devoted to that sort of technical expertise. FBI doesn't have that luxury of specialization.
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  #266  
Old 03-21-2016, 08:41 PM
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I would imagine its more about having the available computing power to do that...their budget is massive and its devoted to that sort of technical expertise. FBI doesn't have that luxury of specialization.
You can't just brute force AES (though I don't know what algorithm Apple uses). Computing power only helps if they can create a good enough virtual clone to test the million or so PINs. And I haven't seen anyone claiming that was easy, or even possible. The acid technique is at least theoretically possible though.

ETA:
There's not enough computing power on Earth to break properly-used AES.
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  #267  
Old 03-21-2016, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by The Unreasoner View Post
You can't just brute force AES (though I don't know what algorithm Apple uses). Computing power only helps if they can create a good enough virtual clone to test the million or so PINs. And I haven't seen anyone claiming that was easy, or even possible. The acid technique is at least theoretically possible though.

ETA:
There's not enough computing power on Earth to break properly-used AES.
Not enough to brute force it but that's not computing power can be used for...the virtual cloning, for example, is much easier if you can do it with the resources they'd have compared to FBI. FBI's computing prowess is embarrassingly bad. For example, they didnt even have full electronic files until just a few years ago. They were stuck a full couple decades behind other gov't agencies in that area.
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