David Kravets, Ars Technica:
The San Bernardino District Attorney told a federal judge late Thursday that Apple must assist the authorities in unlocking the iPhone used by Syed Farook, one of the two San Bernardino shooters that killed 14 people in a killing rampage in December. The phone, which was a county work phone issued to Farook as part of his Health Department duties, may have been the trigger to unleash a “cyber pathogen,” county prosecutors said in a brief court filing.
“The iPhone is a county owned telephone that may have connected to the San Bernardino County computer network. 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,” according to a court filing (PDF) by Michael Ramos, the San Bernardino County District Attorney.
Is that really the best Ramos can come up with?
Also, if there really is a “cyber pathogen” on the device that would endanger San Bernardino’s infrastructure should it be released, wouldn’t it be best to leave the iPhone turned off and encrypted? It certainly doesn’t sound like they have the technical expertise to reverse-engineer it or come up with a solution for it should it be released.