Motherboard Built a Database of Over 500 iPhones Cops Have Tried To Unlock

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    “Motherboard built and analyzed a database of over 500 iPhones seized by law enforcement,” writes Slashdot reader em1ly. “It’s a deep dive into the ongoing “Going Dark” conversation.” Here’s an excerpt from the report: Most of all, the records compiled by Motherboard show that the capability to unlock iPhones is a fluid issue, with an ebb and flow of law enforcement sometimes being able to access devices and others not. The data solidifies that some law enforcement officials do have trouble accessing data stored on iPhones. But ultimately, our findings lead experts to circle back to the fundamental policy question: should law enforcement have guaranteed access to iPhones, with the trade-offs in iPhone security that come with that? Out of 516 analyzed cases, 295 were marked as executed. Officials from the FBI, DEA, DHS, Homeland Security and Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were able to extract data from iPhones in investigations ranging from arson, to child exploitation, to drug trafficking. And investigators executed warrants against modern iPhones, not just older models. In some cases, investigators obtained photos, text messages, call records, browsing data, cookies, and location data from seized iPhones. Some executed search warrants explicitly mention the type of extraction performed, such as so-called “Logical” or “Advanced Logical” extraction. The latter is a term with a meaning that varies between different phone data extraction companies, but generally it relates to creating a device backup as iTunes does normally and obtaining some more data on top of that, Vladimir Katalov, the CEO of iOS forensics firm Elcomsoft, told Motherboard. Katalov said those backups can contain the sorts of pieces of data that investigators obtained, and is available to all models of iPhone. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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