Harry Potter

Jim Erwin
Sunday, March 13, 2016 – 01:00 p.m.

An attention-gathering theory propelled by an Amicus Curiae or Friend of the Court Brief, filed in support of U.S. Government attempts to force Apple Inc. to unlock the encryption of an iPhone 5c, is still being called out for what it is.

It’s a fabricated baseless theory proffered by the San Bernardino County District Attorney.

The tech website Gizmodo inked a story on the subject, classifying it under “Made-Up things”. That reaction was just the tip of the iceberg in calling out political grandstanding on a tragic event.

Yes. The filed legal brief floated the insane idea that the iPhone used by one of the two perpetrators of the December 2, 2015 terror attack in San Bernardino County, California may contain some sort of malware designed to take down the county’s computer network, or wreak other havoc.

Yes. Just to confirm. It really did say that!

Remember this is a brief filed in U.S. District Court.

The District Attorney, Michael Ramos, was even grilled about the baseless theory in a visibly-uncomfortable interview on Fox and Friends Weekend last Sunday morning.

Let’s also not forget he’s a candidate for California Attorney General and the current president-elect of the National District Attorneys’ Association (NDAA).

Here’s a link to another story, written by AP Technology Writer Brandon Bailey, available at the Fox Carolina website: Does an extremist’s iPhone contain a “cyber pathogen”?

The story also takes dead aim at the phony theory put forth.

Local Inland Empire newspapers, true to form, haven’t touched on this attention-grabbing stunt gone wrong.

One thing is for certain. The made-up theory did indeed attract worldwide attention and media coverage. It just wasn’t the kind the District Attorney was looking for.

But then again. Maybe bad press is better than no press at all.

Here’s a small sampling of the laughingstock coverage:

arstechnica: San Bernardino DA says seized iPhone may hold “dormant cyber pathogen” [Update]
Tech crunch: San Bernardino DA claims Syed Farouk’s iPhone may house ‘cyber pathogen’
The Guardian: What’s a ‘cyber pathogen’? San Bernardino DA baffles security community
Chicago Tribune: Prosecutor: San Bernardino killer’s iPhone could contain ‘cyber-pathogen’
RT.com: ‘Cyber pathogen’ or ‘Pandora’s Box’? Officials’ war of words over San Bernardino iPhone
ABC News: San Bernardino DA: Clues to Unconfirmed 3rd Shooter, ‘Cyber Pathogen’ Could Be on iPhone
CNET: iPhone may be suffering from Harry Potter fan-created disease
Mashable: San Bernardino DA: Seized iPhone might contain hidden ‘cyber pathogen’
New York Magazine: San Bernardino DA’s Bizarre Claim: Shooter’s iPhone Infected With ‘Cyber Pathogen’
The Hill: Prosecutor: San Bernardino iPhone may have cyber weapon