San Bernardino DA gets desperate, claims shooter’s iPhone may contain ‘cyber pathogen’
Although it’s probably far from settled, the legal battle between Apple and the FBI over a specific iPhone’s encryption but actually way more than that already provoked all the feelings. You may have started off somewhere in the middle, understanding the stances of both involved parties, and you likely groaned at Trump’s boycott pleas, shed a tear as a San Bernardino survivor’s husband announced his unlikely support for Cupertino, and laughed when an iPad Pro froze in front of Congress.
While it’s virtually impossible now to maintain a neutral position concerning the privacy war that’s split the world in two, we can definitely join together and laugh again at the most recent development, this time the butt of everyone’s jokes being Michael Ramos.
If the name doesn’t ring any bells, don’t worry, as the tech world might remember him for a long, long time to come. The San Bernardino County’s District Attorney on Thursday filed an amicus brief with the US District Court for the Central District of California, bizarrely alleging the iPhone 5c Apple refuses to decrypt may have been “used as a weapon to introduce a lying dormant cyber pathogen that endangers San Bernardino County’s infrastructure.”
Whoa, a cyber pathogen?! Sounds serious. Not to mention a major thorn in Tim Cook’s side, as he tries to stand tough against the authorities, and put people’s rights to privacy above all else. There’s only one problem with the San Bernardino DA’s claims. They reek of desperation, as well as disinformation.
Apparently, there’s no such thing as a “cyber pathogen”, and according to forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski, “they are essentially saying that a magical unicorn might exist on this phone.” Zdziarski went even further in a talk to Arstechnica, claiming “this reads as an amicus designed to mislead the courts into acting irrationally in an attempt to manipulate a decision in the FBI’s favor.” Not cool, Mr. Ramos! Oh, and next time you try a cheap trick like that, do your homework first and don’t throw around made-up terms computer scientists have never used before.