Woman Ordered to Decrypt Laptop in Bank Fraud May Have "Forgotten" Password
February 7, 2012 12:36 PM
comment(s) - last by
Ramona Fricosu's attorney says she may have forgotten the password
Last month, a Colorado woman
was ordered to decrypt her laptop
in order to help prosecutors obtain evidence in the bank fraud case against her. Now, Ramona Fricosu's attorney is saying that the defendant may have forgotten her password, further prolonging the case and getting prosecutors nowhere with the hard drive.
"It's very possible to forget passwords," said Philip Dubois, Fricosu's attorney. "It's not clear to me she was the one who set up the encryption on this drive. I don't know if she will be able to decrypt it. The government will probably say you need to put her in jail until she breaks down and does what she is ordered to do. That will create a question of fact for the judge to resolve. If she's unable to decrypt the disc, the court cannot hold her in contempt."
Davies said Fricosu has not said in any court documents that she has forgotten the password. They are waiting to see what position she takes in court.
Fricosu was accused of bank fraud in 2010, and had her laptop seized by authorities for investigative purposes. When attempting to search her hard drive, authorities found that it was
encrypted using full disk encryption
, which prevents unauthorized access to data storage. The option can be found in operating systems like Mac OS and Windows, and if authorities tried to crack it themselves, they could damage the computer.
Colorado U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn then ordered Fricosu to decrypt her hard drive and return it to the court so prosecutors could use the files against her in the bank fraud case. Fricosu tried using the Fifth Amendment to protect herself, arguing that it protects her from compelled self-incrimination.
However, Blackburn concluded that "the Fifth Amendment is not implicated by requiring production of unencrypted contents of the
Toshiba Satellite M305 laptop computer
." Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Davies backed Blackburn's decision, saying that encryption cannot be a sure way for criminals to bypass the system.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: I forget now...
2/7/2012 3:51:53 PM
The manufacturer of safes are consulted to aid in opening them. I'm curious if Microsoft or Apple could/would be consulted in cracking their encryptions.
Also, wouldn't the password have to be buried somewhere within the OS accessible by Microsoft/Apple?
RE: I forget now...
2/7/2012 4:46:04 PM
With any decent encryption you don't actually store the passphrase; you only store encrypted data and need that specific passphrase (or one that fits exact same criteria for decryption !) to access the data, otherwise you're just looking at a set of scrambled bytes.
And it is trivial to increase the passphrase length and algorithm complexity compared to the amount of time required to brea the encryption.
This whole story is absurd anyway: if she had indeed commited bank fraud,
there are bound to be some bank records of it
, plus other records (of communication and such). I'm not sure what the dumbphuck investigators are doing there but obviously not their job, otherwise the prosecution wouldn't have to cling on her self-incrimination to win the case.They are looking for her "black book" diary of bank frauds (?!) ... idjits.
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
Colorado Woman Ordered to Decrypt Laptop in Bank Fraud Case
January 24, 2012, 9:40 AM
Toshiba Self-Encryption Hard Drive Technology Debuts
April 16, 2009, 9:30 AM
Hard Drive Makers Settle on Single Encryption Standard
January 29, 2009, 10:10 AM
Smart Security Cameras: 5 Good Choices For Any Budget
July 25, 2016, 7:13 PM
Top 5 Smart Watches
July 21, 2016, 11:48 PM
Retiree Sues Apple For $7,500 for Wiping Honeymoon Photos From His iPhone
November 30, 2015, 10:23 AM
iPhone 7 May Pack 3-4 GB Memory, More Storage; 4-Inch Comeback is Rumored
November 20, 2015, 10:12 PM
OnePlus One, OnePlus 2 Will Receive Android Marshmallow in Q1 2016
November 16, 2015, 9:58 AM
Lenovo Whoa: Motorola Droid MAXX 2 and Turbo 2 Break Cover in Leaks
October 26, 2015, 3:12 PM
Most Popular Articles
Get Ready to wait in line – iPhone 7 due September.
August 18, 2016, 7:15 AM
Lenovo vs. Asus vs. HP - Best Laptop Under $500.00
August 19, 2016, 4:00 AM
Wearable Technology for Peanut Allergy Sufferers: By Monique Bethell Ph.D.
August 17, 2016, 6:40 AM
5 Healthy and Creative ways to add Fiber to your Diet By Monique C. Bethell, Ph.D.
August 18, 2016, 7:43 AM
Fuchsia – Google’s New Open Source Operating System
August 17, 2016, 6:30 AM
Latest Blog Posts
SolarCity’s Gigafactory: A Milesone in Emerging Technology by Lily Emamian - 15 August 2016
Aug 15, 2016, 6:30 AM
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information