FBI Gains Access To San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone 5c Without Assistance From Apple
According to a court filing made today by the Department of Justice, FBI has finally gained access to the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone without any assistance from Apple. With this DOJ has officially withdrawn its legal action against Apple, and states that they had "now successfully accessed the data" which was stored on Syed Rizwan Farook's iPhone.
This revelation means that there will no longer be any legal showdown by Apple's legal eagles against the government in the midst of security concerns. The filing however, does not reveal how FBI has managed to gain access into the iPhone, or what kind of details did the FBI manage to pick up concerning the San Bernardino incident.
The dispute between Apple and the FBI centers around the FBI's request for a new version of iOS that would disable certain passcode security features on the shooter's iPhone 5c. However, Apple has declined the request saying it would set a "dangerous precedent". In fact, the company has stated that FBI never needed Apple’s assistance to hack into the terrorist locked iPhone and FBI has various other means to do it themselves. On the day of the court hearing FBI has said that they may have found a way into the locked iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists without Apple's help and asked the court to postpone the hearing for two weeks.
Earlier last week, a leaked record Records show that the FBI has signed a $15,278.02 contract with Cellebrite for forensics work on March 21, just a day before the FBI vs. Apple's hearing was scheduled. It is widely believed that FBI contracted Cellebrite to hack into the iPhone 5c of the San Bernardino shooter.
While we do not know whether if it was Cellebrite who hacked the iPhone or the FBI used some other hacker to do this, the idea of anyone hacking into the iPhone so easily makes us question the security of iPhone in general. In addition, while we are happy that this ordeal has come to end, we cannot help but think it will likely to crop up yet again in the future.