The US authorities announced on Monday they may have found a way to unlock the San Bernardino shooters iPhone without the Apple’s help.
The FBI says it may have discovered a method to bypass Apple security measures and unlock access the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers, and a today scheduled court hearing in the case has been postponed.
We have discussed a lot on the case FBI vs Apple, last week DOJ released a brief filing that threatens to force Apple to hand over the iOS source code if it will not help FBI in unlocking the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, meanwhile Edward Snowden accused the FBI of lying about his ability to unlock the mobile device.
Now it seems that we are at the terminus, on Sunday, March 20, 2016, an independent party demonstrated to the US authorities a technique for unlocking the controversial iPhone.
“On Sunday, March 20, 2016, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking Farook’s iPhone,” revealed the lawyers for the US Government in a court filing Monday afternoon. “Testing is required to determine whether it is a viable method that will not compromise data on Farook’s iPhone. If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple set forth in the All Writs Act Order in this case,”
The court filing doesn’t provide technical details on the technique, but this could represent the end of the fights, at least one important truce. Several third parties provided the FBI a number of suggestions for how it could crack the iPhone.
Apple is also worried that the San Bernardino case could set a legal precedent that would force IT giants to provide government access to users’ data even when these are protected by encryption.
In a court filing Monday, the FBI confirms that its experts have continued to look for a method to crack iPhone devices, even without the Apple’s help.
“Our top priority has always been gaining access into the phone used by the terrorist in San Bernardino,” explained the Justice Department spokeswoman Melanie Newman. “With this goal in mind, the FBI has continued in its efforts to gain access to the phone without Apple’s assistance, even during a month-long period of litigation with the company.”
Many experts speculate the FBI plans to access data by cloning the device until it is not able to guess the secret passcode. Basically, the experts will make an attempt to find the password for each against each copy.
Anyway, whatever method FBI will use, the government will file a status report by April 5, reveal the results of the procedure.
The unique certainly at the moment is the suspension of the order requiring Apple to help the FBI.
On the other side, Apple’s lawyers confirmed that the company will never provide help to the FBI.
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.