San Bernardino DA says seized iPhone may hold “dormant cyber pathogen”

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.

Jonathan Zdziarski, a prominent iPhone forensics expert, said in a telephone interview that the district attorney is suggesting that a “magical unicorn might exist on this phone.”

But if there’s even a slight chance to find a magical unicorn (which is redundant, by the way), shouldn’t law enforcement do everything in its power to discover such a creature? What is Apple trying to hide here? Why won’t they help the FBI discover this creature? Is it discrimination against mythical horses? Did a unicorn hurt Tim Cook as a child? Enquiring minds want to know.

And the The San Bernardino District Attorney is an idiot.



  • Somebody’s been watching too much Arrow.

    • Me or the DA? 🙂

    • DA Michael Ramos, you have failed this city!

    • Felicity Smoak would have already hacked the phone wide open.

    • Mo

      But nobody’s said “It’s not your fault” yet.

  • bridger

    You are being mean. Idiots may very well get offended.

  • Well, I guess they had to come up with some kind of reason the killer destroyed he and his wife’s phones but not this iPhone other than the fact there is nothing on it.

  • James Hughes

    Wait… if it’s dormant, should’t we let sleeping cyber pathogen’s lie? It’s also amazing how, if such a “cyber pathogen” existed that it is somehow undetectable. Oh that sneaky dormant pathogen!!

  • The only part of this that prevents me from breaking out into laughter is there’s a small chance this argument will work.

  • Surely we can come up with a list of other things in the phone. A cure for AIDS. The secret to low energy fusion. Half of a pair of quantum entangled particles in direct contact with the lizard people who are offering us FTL drive.

    C’mon, guys. Thinking caps on,

    • Oooh. I like the FTL drive one, but, c’mon, the lizard people would never give it to us. Surely the grays are more likely to to help. (The short ones. The tall ones seem to like anal probing more.)

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  • The DA is no idiot. He thinks the public is pretty much idiots. But he’s no idiot.

  • Rice’s claims of a looming mushroom cloud moved public opinion. People react to language like this.

    • Mo

      Sadly true.

  • It is definitely getting embarrassing now.

  • GS

    Maybe the iPhone is a dormant sleeper cell.

  • actually no, magical and mythical are not the same meaning. both the unicorn and Sasquatch are mythical beasts, but neither is magical in itself.

  • IslandLife

    San Bernandino County … Same people that changed the password, but forgot what they changed it to?!