Why should Apple unlock the much-disputed iPhone at the center of its battle with the FBI? It may hold a "dormant cyber pathogen," according to a court filing from the district attoey for Califoia's San Beardino County.
That certainly sounds scary, but what is a dormant cyber pathogen exactly?
iPhone forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski, who knows a fair bit about computer science and information security, was just as baffled as the rest of us. The phrase doesn't exist in computer science, according to Zdziarski. So, he went in search of answers.
What he found was "what appears to be Harry Potter fiction," Zdziarski reported in a blog post on Thursday. His search led him to the profile of a fan-fiction fan who goes by the name of "Cyber Pathogen" and describes themselves as a Demigod from Gryffindor.
In the court filing, County District Attoey Michael Ramos says the dormant cyber pathogen might be a weapon that could trigger an attack on the San Beardino County computer network.
It's just the latest twist in the ongoing battle between Apple and the FBI over an iPhone 5C used by one of the terrorists involved in a December massacre in San Beardino, in which 14 people died and 20 others were wounded.
A court hearing to determine whether Apple should be forced to comply with the FBI's request is set for March 22 in federal court in Riverside, Califoia.
Apple and the San Beardino district attoey's office couldn't be reached for comment.