On Wednesday, the FBI Director James Comey made a strange affirmation, the official said the technique used in the San Bernardino case does not work on an iPhone 5S or later.
Speaking to the audience at the biennial political science conference at Kenyon College in Ohio, Comey explained the limits of the method used for unlocking iPhones.
“It’s a bit of a technological corner case, because the world has moved on to [iPhone] 6’s,” Comey said. “This doesn’t work on sixes, doesn’t work on a 5S. So we have a tool that works on a narrow slice of phones. I can never be completely confident, but I’m pretty confident about that.” reported the CNN.
“The people we bought this from, I know a fair amount about them, and I have a high degree of confidence that they are very good at protecting it, and their motivations align with ours,” Comey said.
Comey hasn’t provided further details on the hacking tool it has bought and its limitation, but security experts believe the problems for the Feds started after the introduction of security measures implemented with the A7 chip, used in the iPhone 5S and later versions.
The FBI will support authorities involved in similar cases, for example in the investigation conducted by the Police in Arkansas in a homicide case that involved two teens accused of killing a couple. In this case, the FBI will unlock the iPhone and iPod belonging to the suspects.
The Feds will also offer their support in a drug investigation case in Brooklyn, this time the seized mobile is an iPhone 5S that runs iOS 7.
FBI vs Apple
Comey added that the US Government is evaluating the opportunity to reveal Apple the method it has used in order to crack the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.
“We tell Apple, then they’re going to fix it, then we’re back where we started from,” he said. “We may end up there, we just haven’t decided yet.”
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”.