FBI won’t have to reveal details on iPhone Hacking tool used in San Bernadino Case
The famous FBI-Apple encryption dispute was a big concern that whether or to what extent court in the US can force manufacturers to assist in unlocking cell phones data that are cryptographically protected.
In 2016, the judge has ordered to unlock iPhone that was used by San Bernardino Shooter in solving a critical case of Syed Farook; who with his wife Tashfeen Malik planned a coordinated “2015 San Bernardino attack” that killed 14 people injured 22.
Apple has refused to help FBI to access the data on the locked iPhone so later they reportedly paid over million dollars to the vendor for unlocking the shooter’s iPhone.
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FBI is keeping this iPhone hack as a secret, three news organizations – The Associated Press, USA Today, and Vice Media has appealed last year under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the forced the agency to reveal the name of the vendor who has made iPhone hack and the amount that was paid to unlock the iPhone.
Apple was forced to build a backdoored version of its iOS that could have helped the agency to unlock Farook’s iPhone, but the company has refused to do so.
After some weeks of argument, the US government decided to go with an alternative method to unlock the phone from an “outside party”.
Yesterday, Judge rules in FBI’s favor in San Bernardino terrorist iPhone case. Vendor and the price will remain a secret due to national security issues.
Here is the statement of FBI’s director James Comey:
The hacking tool that the FBI bought was only effective against iPhone 5C running iOS 9, not on the later versions but we are looking to expand the tool’s effort so to hack into the higher models as well for national security”
Here’s the statement of Apple’s CEO Tim Cook :
“The United States government has demanded that Apple takes an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.”
“We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good. Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.”
Ethical Hacking & Information Security Researcher