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Hacking the terror suspect’s iPhone: what the FBI can do now Apple says ‘no’



Tech giant Apple is standing firm behind its decision to refuse a US court order to help the FBI gain access to the iPhone used by one of the shooters in last year’s mass killing in California.

Fourteen people were killed and 22 seriously injured in a shooting in San Bernardino, on December 2, 2015. The incident was declared an act of terrorism.

The FBI has an iPhone 5C belonging to one of the shooters, but it does not have the necessary security code set by the user to unlock the phone. It wants Apple to create and provide it with firmware that would allow it to bypass the security features that protect the privacy of iPhone users.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has published “A Message to Our Customers” explaining why the company is not complying with the request.

Heated debate

It’s a topic that has been the subject of much debate over the past few days, with supporters for both sides. Many of Apple’s tech rivals have sided with the company, though Microsoft founder Bill Gates says companies should be forced to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in terrorism investigations.

From the FBI’s perspective, the contents of the phone may provide crucial clues, evidence and possibly even contact information of other terrorists and extremists.

From Apple’s point of view, creating firmware that has a backdoor could have significant impact on the security and privacy of its customers, because the US government would then have the ability to gain access to any iPhone in its possession.

In the wrong hands, this special firmware could be used to gain access to sensitive information on any iPhone. These devices are more versatile than ever before and are likely to contain anything from email, messages and contacts, to financial and credit card information.

Understandably Apple is firmly opposing compliance with this order. Because compliance could affect its reputation and result in loss of consumer confidence. There may also be international implications; would this firmware only work on US-issued devices? How might this affect international privacy laws?

We’ve had back doors before

This wouldn’t be the first time the US government has had a back door into secure systems.

In the 1980s, the US National Security Agency (NSA) developed an algorithm called “Skipjack”. Using an encryption device called the Clipper chip, which had a built in back door, Skipjack allowed law enforcement agencies to gain access to encrypted data and was intended for use by telecommunications providers.

The chip was introduced in 1993 and met with significant backlash and low adoption. It was defunct by 1996.

And in 2013, the New York Times published a story about how an encryption algorithm, called Dual Elliptical Curve Deterministic Random Bit Generator (Dual_EC_DRBG) contained a back door for the NSA.

People who used the algorithm, which could be any organisation that had the algorithm included as part of security devices or software they acquired, such as those that utilised the RSA Security BSAFE encryption libraries, were urged to stop using it.

What now for the FBI?

What other options does the FBI have? Could there be a place for ethical hackers to attempt to break into the iPhone? Would commissioning ethical hackers for this purpose itself be ethical?

Although Apple’s iOS firmware has already undergone significant testing by both Apple and the public, it is possible that vulnerabilities still exist.

One such vulnerability, which allows hackers to bypass the lock screen using Siri, was revealed last September. Although it only provided access to contacts and photos, it demonstrates that flaws in firmware can exist. In the FBI case at hand, photos and contacts may be useful evidence.

There is also the possibility that an ethical hacker may be able to reverse engineer the firmware. Doing this is explicitly forbidden by the Apple iOS Software license agreement so the ethics of doing it would be questionable.

Could it be justified given the US government would back the effort for the sake of national safety?

Any attempt to break into the device comes with its risks. Simply trying to brute force the security code by inputting every password combination would likely result in the device being erased, so it is important to preserve the device.

It would at least be necessary to maintain the current state of the device in some way. So, if a way of duplicating the device was created, it would be possible to use a brute force attack against its copies, without affecting the original phone.

Maintaining the forensic integrity of the device and not damaging it is of the utmost importance, something that was not demonstrated when the FBI attempted to access the iCloud account of the perpetrators.

It is also necessary for Apple to be able to prove that the back door maintains the integrity of the data. If this process becomes part of any court proceeding, it is highly likely that Apple would be called upon to prove this in open court.

It must already realise this and be very concerned about having to do so, as it would expose a great deal of proprietary information that it would not want to see in the public arena.

No hacking by the FBI?

One must ask why the FBI (or US government) doesn’t already have the ability to gain access to the encrypted data. It seems likely that with the supercomputers in its arsenal, and the funding available to it, the agency can take a copy of the encrypted data and attempt to decrypt it.

Given the standard encryption on iOS devices is AES-256 (approved and used by the NSA for storing top-secret data), and the key is fused in an unreadable format to the device, the amount of time to decrypt and the costs involved are likely to be the issue.

It’s also important to consider whether there should be any automatic right for any government to be able to read (or decrypt and read) any communications or stored data.

Whenever government ministers are interviewed, they seem to start with the presumption that they have the right to do this, yet that right is not established.

So it’s probably easier and more cost effective for the US government to try to get Apple to create a back door, despite the problem of Apple refusing to do so.

Creating this precedent would allow this process to be repeatable and to occur whenever the US government required. Perhaps Apple doesn’t want the same fate as Clipper and Dual_EC_DRBG.

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Trader Joe’s: A Unique Grocery Shopping Experience



Trader Joe's: A Unique Grocery Shopping Experience

Discover the unparalleled shopping experience at Trader Joe’s, a renowned grocery store chain offering a wide range of high-quality products at affordable prices. Explore the diverse selection, innovative offerings, and friendly atmosphere that make Trader Joe’s a favorite destination for food enthusiasts.

Introduction: Welcome to Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s has revolutionized the grocery shopping industry with its distinctive approach to retail. With a commitment to providing unique and high-quality products, Trader Joe’s has garnered a loyal following of customers who are eager to explore the ever-changing assortment of items on their shelves. In this article, we will delve into the world of Trader Joe’s and explore the reasons why it stands out from the competition.

Trader Joe’s: A Shopper’s Paradise

A Haven for Food Enthusiasts

Trader Joe’s is more than just a grocery store; it’s a paradise for food enthusiasts. With an extensive selection of gourmet and specialty items sourced from around the world, Trader Joe’s caters to the discerning palate. From unique snacks and appetizers to artisanal cheeses and decadent desserts, there’s always something new and exciting to discover at Trader Joe’s.

Unbeatable Prices and Value

One of the hallmarks of Trader Joe’s is its commitment to providing exceptional value to its customers. While the store offers a wide range of high-quality products, it manages to keep its prices affordable. This combination of quality and value is what sets Trader Joe’s apart from its competitors, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious shoppers.

A Neighborhood Vibe

Step into any Trader Joe’s, and you’ll immediately notice the warm and welcoming atmosphere. With friendly staff members who are always ready to assist you, shopping at Trader Joe’s feels like a visit to your neighborhood store. The company prides itself on fostering a sense of community and creating an enjoyable shopping experience for its customers.

Exploring Trader Joe’s Selection

A Cornucopia of Fresh Produce

Trader Joe’s offers an impressive selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, sourced from trusted suppliers. Whether you’re in search of everyday staples or exotic produce, Trader Joe’s has you covered. From crisp apples to vibrant heirloom tomatoes, their produce section boasts a colorful array of options that will inspire any home cook.

Delightful Dairy and Cheese Selection

Cheese lovers rejoice! Trader Joe’s is renowned for its diverse selection of cheeses from around the world. From creamy Brie to tangy blue cheese, you’ll find a range of flavors and textures to suit your taste buds. Pair your favorite cheese with their assortment of crackers and you’re in for a treat.

International Flavors Galore

At Trader Joe’s, you can embark on a global culinary adventure without leaving the store. Their shelves are stocked with a wide variety of international ingredients and products, allowing you to explore different cuisines and expand your culinary horizons. Whether you’re in the mood for Thai curry, Italian pasta, or Indian spices, Trader Joe’s has everything you need to create authentic and flavorful dishes.

Unique and Innovative Offerings

One of the reasons why Trader Joe’s is so beloved is its constant introduction of unique and innovative products. The store takes pride in being a trendsetter in the grocery industry, and customers eagerly anticipate the arrival of new items. From seasonal treats to unexpected flavor combinations, Trader Joe’s never fails to surprise and delight its customers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What makes Trader Joe’s different from other grocery stores?

Trader Joe’s stands out from other grocery stores due to its unique selection of products, unbeatable prices, and friendly atmosphere. The store offers an exciting array of gourmet and specialty items, all at affordable prices,making it a destination for food enthusiasts. Additionally, Trader Joe’s prides itself on creating a neighborhood vibe with its welcoming staff and sense of community.

2. Does Trader Joe’s offer organic and healthy options?

Yes, Trader Joe’s is known for its commitment to offering a wide range of organic and healthy options. The store carries a variety of organic produce, as well as organic dairy products, meats, and pantry staples. In addition, Trader Joe’s has a selection of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian products to cater to different dietary preferences and needs.

3. Are Trader Joe’s products affordable compared to other grocery stores?

Yes, Trader Joe’s is renowned for its affordability. While providing high-quality products, Trader Joe’s manages to keep its prices competitive. This combination of quality and value makes it an attractive choice for shoppers looking to get the most out of their budget.

4. Can I find international ingredients and spices at Trader Joe’s?

Absolutely! Trader Joe’s takes pride in offering a diverse range of international ingredients and spices. Whether you’re looking for exotic spices for a specific recipe or unique international snacks, Trader Joe’s has a selection that will satisfy your culinary cravings.

5. Are there any Trader Joe’s branded products?

Yes, Trader Joe’s has its own line of branded products. These Trader Joe’s branded items are carefully curated and developed to meet the company’s high standards for quality and taste. From snacks and pantry staples to frozen meals and beverages, you’ll find a variety of Trader Joe’s branded products throughout the store.

6. Does Trader Joe’s have a return policy?

Yes, Trader Joe’s has a customer-friendly return policy. If you’re not satisfied with a product you’ve purchased, you can return it to the store with a receipt for a full refund. Trader Joe’s aims to ensure customer satisfaction and stands behind the quality of their products.

Conclusion: A Shopping Experience Like No Other

Trader Joe’s offers a shopping experience that is truly unique. With its diverse and high-quality product selection, unbeatable prices, and friendly atmosphere, it has become a favorite destination for food enthusiasts and budget-conscious shoppers alike. Whether you’re searching for everyday essentials, international ingredients, or innovative snacks, Trader Joe’s has something to offer. So, the next time you’re in search of a grocery store adventure, don’t miss out on the vibrant and exciting world of Trader Joe’s.

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Rebbe’s Dollar distribution



Rebbe's Dollar distribution

Uncover the extraordinary story of the Rebbe’s Dollar distribution, a powerful tradition that has transformed lives and inspired acts of kindness across the globe.

The Rebbe’s one-dollar bill, a symbol of charity and compassion, continues to embody the spiritual legacy of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, inspiring countless individuals to embrace a life of giving and kindness.

Every Sunday, people from all walks of life – Jews and non-Jews alike – would line up outside the Rebbe’s residence at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York, eager to receive a dollar bill and a blessing from the Rebbe.

It was a testament to the universal nature of the Rebbe’s message of love, kindness, and the power of good deeds.

The Rebbe would hand out dollar bills to each individual, instructing them to donate the money to a charity of their choice. Through this small act of giving, the Rebbe instilled the value of charity and the potential of a single dollar to create positive change.

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Sustainable Diamonds – What You Need to Know About Lab-Grown Diamonds in NZ



Sustainable Diamonds - What You Need to Know About Lab-Grown Diamonds in NZ

The use of lab grown diamonds NZ in jewellery has been growing rapidly over the last few years. This is because they are eco-friendly, and they cost less than mined diamonds. However, it is essential to understand the differences between a lab-grown and a mined diamond before making a purchase decision.

A Lab-Grown Diamond is a synthetic diamond created by humans in a lab instead of being mined from the ground. They are similar to natural diamonds in almost every way, except that they do not cloud or lose their luster over time.

There are several processes that can be used to grow a diamond in a lab, but the most common ones are High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). These methods are incredibly complex, but they have the same end goal: to replicate the conditions that naturally occur when a diamond grows on the earth’s surface.

Unlike mined diamonds, formed after millions of years of exposure to extreme heat and temperatures within the earth’s crust, lab-grown diamonds are created by scientists in a controlled environment. This allows them to mimic the same physical and chemical properties of natural diamonds, while also being significantly cheaper and environmentally friendly.

How They’re Made

When a diamond seed is placed inside of a sealed chamber, it is pressurized and heated until the carbon particles break down and crystallize into a fully grown diamond. This process is called growing a diamond in a lab, and many companies have done it since the 1960s.

In addition to being more sustainable, lab-grown diamonds are more ethical than mined diamonds because they don’t heavily impact the environment. For example, a study by Frost & Sullivan found that for each carat of diamonds mined using traditional methods, nearly 100 square feet of land is disturbed and more than 5,798 pounds of mineral waste are created.

Another great thing about lab-grown diamonds is that they don’t consume as much water in the making process. This is because the processes involved in creating a mined diamond require significant amounts of water, and they also create a lot of pollution.

This can lead to many issues, including depleted water supplies and environmental calamities. In addition, the soil can be destroyed, and in turn, the land is rendered unusable once mining operations have ceased.

It is also worth noting that lab-grown diamonds don’t contribute to global warming like mined diamonds, as their carbon is sourced from CO2 emissions. This is a very good thing for the planet, and it is one of the major reasons why people are switching to lab-grown diamonds instead of mined diamonds.

If you want to buy a piece of jewellery with a lab-grown diamond, you’ll need to do some research and make sure that you are getting a good deal on the product. You can do this by checking out prices at different retailers and comparing the costs. You can then choose which option is best for you and your budget.

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