The iPhone 5c that was used by Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the San Bernardino event in 2015, could be a trigger for a “cyber pathogen”, according to the San Bernardino county District Attorney.
The curious claim appears in an amicus brief filed by Michael Ramos with a California court on Thursday. In the document, Ramos is concerned that the device has the potential to damage San Bernardino County’s infrastructure.
“The iPhone is a county owned telephone that may have connected to the San Bernardino County computer network,” Ramos explained in a court filing. “The seized iPhone may contain evidence that can only be found on the seized phone that it was used as a weapon to introduce a lying dormant cyber pathogen that endangers San Bernardino’s infrastructure”.
This is the first time a law enforcement official has provided any indication of what the FBI may discover on this device, which Apple refuses to unlock using new iOS firmware that would have to be specially built with a backdoor, potentially putting millions of iPhone users at risk.
“It sounds like he’s making up these terms as he goes,” said iPhone forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski, speaking to Ars Technica about the filing. “We’ve never used these terms in computer science.” Zdziarski believes that the amicus is simply designed to mislead the courts and manipulate a decision in the FBI’s favor. “It offers no evidence whatsoever that the device has, or even might have, malware on it. It offers no evidence that their network was ever compromised”.
Apple continues to fight a court request to unlock the iPhone used by Farook, and the case could end up in the Supreme Court. In the meantime, Apple’s battle has been backed by peers like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and more.
Source: Ars Technica
Shooter’s iPhone Could be trigger for ‘cyber pathogen’, Claims San Bernardino DA