FBI Used Professional Hackers To Unlock San Bernardino iPhone
We previously believed that FBI contracted Israel based security Company Cellebrite to unlock the San Bernardino iPhone. Now it turns out, it has actually hired professional hackers who discovered a security flaw in the iPhone 5C.
According to a report by the Washington Post, These unknown hackers discovered at least one previously unknown software flaw, or zero-day, and brought it to the attention of the Bureau. This security flaw was used to create a piece of hardware that helped the agency crack the four-digit iPhone PIN without triggering the security feature that could have erased everything on the device.
These professional hackers or grey hat hackers usually keep a low profile, and in certain situations, do sell the exploits discovered by them to the governments and companies. For unlocking the shooter's iPhone 5c, the hacker the FBI paid a one-time flat fee.
The FBI and government have not yet decided on whether to disclose the hack to Apple, and the White House would probably make a decision. Apple will most likely patch it up when their engineers find out what it is, but the company announced last week that it would not sue the FBI to gain access to the solution it used.
The FBI said the tool it used has a limited scope, as it only works on a small number of devices, and does not apply to the iPhone 5S or newer handsets.