Encrypted Data belonging to San Bernardino Terrorists Remains Unsolved

The FBI and its hired private contractor are still unable to lay hands on the data belonging to San Bernardino terrorists in their PC as well as their smart phones.

San Bernardino Terrorists

Investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been unsuccessful at finding the hard drive of the San Bernardino terrorists. They have also been unable to crack the encryption codes of the couple who carried out attacks last month.

The cell phone used by San Bernardino terrorists Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik before the Dec 2. Shootings are highly encrypted. In an exclusive interview, the Assistant Director of the Los Angeles Field Office told a news channel. He also said that the couple tried to destroy both the devices.

The information on their cell phones may offer valuable information regarding other networks or groups like the San Bernardino terrorists who may be active on American soil.

During the interview, Bowditch said that: “As to those devices, obviously we’ve said from day one, the digital footprint is incredibly important for us to hopefully learn any contacts, any context, and ultimately any intent on their part. I think that’s very, very important.”

There could be very valuable information in the missing hard drive as well as the encrypted cell phones. It would also help investigators fill out a gap spanning over 18 minutes that occurred right after the attacks and the shootout between security officials and San Bernardino terrorists that killed both of them.

Bowditch further elaborated that there is be a possibility that the couple was planning attack somewhere in the same area. This assumption is based on the amount of weapons they had available with them. They could have made a lot of bombs with the pipes that were recovered from their house. This further strengthened the theory of secondary attacks.

The FBI has hired the services of a private contractor for cracking the encryption in the cell phones; however, the agency and the private contractor are still unable to offer a breakthrough.

It all depends on the type of encryption that was used by the San Bernardino terrorists for encrypting their cell phones. Their task is further complicated by the fact that there are very efficient encryption programs available in the market that is simply unbreakable.

Experts in this field say that the FBI along with some politicians and presidential hopefuls are trying to make use of the San Bernardino terrorist attacks persuading tech giants like Google and Apple to give security officials more access to iPhone and android devices.

Other experts say that several companies outside the US are also selling highly effective encryption programs. If cell phone services and/or device manufacturers agree to share client information with the FBI, they will have to lose a large customer base. On the other hand, criminals like the San Bernardino terrorists have several other ways with which they can hide their data.

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Bill Schroder

Bill Schroder is a Beirut-based correspondent for The World Beast. He has reported from over a dozen countries in the Middle East for such publications. Follow: Tweets by @SchroderBill