FBI seeks Google's help cracking pimp's Android phone
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is seeking Google's help to crack an alleged human trafficking ring member's Android smartphone, a tech site reported Thursday.
PC Magazine said FBI agents based in San Diego seized one Dante Dears' Samsung phone on Jan. 17, but could not gain access to the phone due to its pattern lock feature.
Unable to crack the code on their own, the FBI has applied for a warrant ordering Google to unlock it for them, the PC Mag report said.
Dears is the convicted founder of a San Diego street gang called "Pimpin' Hoes Daily." He was released from state prison in January 2009.
Cracking the code
PC Mag cited an affidavit filed on March 9 with the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California.
In the affidavit, FBI agent Jonathon Cupina said that after seizing the device, FBI Regional Computer Forensics Lab (RCFL) technicians tried "multiple times" to get into the locked-down phone but failed to do it.
"The RCFL techs' attempts to get past the phone's pattern lock triggered a memory lock on the device that can't be unlocked without the user's Gmail address and password," the PC Mag article said.
Now, the FBI wants Google to divulge that information, plus "any and all means of gaining access" to the phone, including password reset info and the manufacturer default code, or PUK, "in order to obtain the complete contents of the memory" of the device, the article added.
"Of course, it would be somewhat baffling if Dears didn't realize the FBI wanted to see what was on his phone when they seized it. Unfortunately for the feds, it's possible he may have already taken steps to erase data accessed through the phone but stored in the cloud, like email," the PC Mag article said. — TJD, GMA News
Talk of the web