Apple wants to know how the DOJ unlocked Farook's iPhone 5c without its help

Apple wants to know how the DOJ unlocked Farook's iPhone 5c without its help
Now that the FBI was able to unlock the Apple iPhone 5c used by dead terrorist Syed Farook, Apple wants to know how the FBI achieved this feat without its help. And Apple thinks it knows how it can get that information. You might recall that last month, we told you about a case involving an Apple iPhone 5s belonging to a drug dealer named Jun Feng.

Even though Feng pleaded guilty to dealing Meth, the government still wanted his iPhone opened and the content turned over. This would satisfy terms of a search warrant received by law enforcement. However, a federal magistrate in Brooklyn ruled that he did not have the authority to demand that Apple unlock this phone. The Justice Department appealed this ruling to a district court judge. But before any ruling could be made, the Justice Department announced that it was able to unlock Farook's phone. 

Apple, and other tech firms, are concerned that the unlocking technique used by the Justice Department could end up in the wrong hands. That would make personal information stored on every iPhone on the planet potentially lucrative targets for hackers; that is, until Apple closes whatever opening was employed by the DOJ. To do that, Apple needs to how the device was unlocked.

One way it might be able to find out would require the federal government to continue to pursue the request for Apple to unlock Feng's iPhone 5s. This would force both sides to turn over evidence during the Discovery portion of the trial. And it is here where Apple might be able to demand the method used by the DOJ to unlock the infamous iPhone 5c.

It is convoluted and complex, but at the end of the day all of this might help determine whether you still will be able to count on your iPhone as a secure place to store personal information.

source: Reuters

Related phones

iPhone 5s
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 1570 mAh(10h 3G talk time)
iPhone 5c
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A6, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 1507 mAh(10h 3G talk time)



1. supracer

Posts: 26; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

Or they are playing dumb or just LMFAO!!!

21. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

maybe they seriously didnt know.. If they know they should already release some security patch for iOS9

26. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

They're making this BS up. The whole FBI thing was a stunt by the FBI to get a backdoor way into every iPhone and not just that one. Then Apple capitalized on the hype by making it look like they're super security conscious just as they get more "pro" crap out to appeal to businesses. Finally, FBI quit the legal crap cause they weren't going to win at all and went with a "3rd party" that worked for Apple and probably were recommended to the FBI by Apple themselves. Finally, Apple plays innocent and wants to know how they got in which the FBI will not reveal publicly to make this all seem legit.

2. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

That's seems to be a dent on Apple's ego...

7. Exynos.

Posts: 177; Member since: Mar 28, 2016

It's not a dent nor about Apple's ego. I have also thought that the method used by DOJ might be illegal or illegitimate. Appe has the right to know how it was unlocked, in order to know if it's copyright or software terms and conditions has been violated in the unlocking process.

11. Hatshipuh

Posts: 163; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

I think it's sure to say that unlocking a phone without user consent is against their ToS without knowing the method.

25. ph00ny

Posts: 2051; Member since: May 26, 2011

Permission was given by the owner and they had proper court order to do so. (Btw phone wasn't owned by farook)

29. guest

Posts: 372; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

The DOJ should give Apple as much help as they gave to the DOJ.

43. tedkord

Posts: 17408; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

No they don't have that right.

3. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

I bet, they hire China hackers.

12. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

It was a company from israel not hackers from china lol, Apple doesn't want to know who unlocked the iPhone they just want to know how.

4. Arschsalat

Posts: 158; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

With the Power of Giorgio A. Tsoukalos

5. tabVision

Posts: 26; Member since: Jul 16, 2015

I don't really understand what's the problem to open his phone already. They could just give his phone to apple employee and he will unlock it while all the people involved on this case will be at the same place(I assume it will take up to one hour to do it) and no one will know how to unlock iPhone devices

8. asiansatan

Posts: 59; Member since: Sep 18, 2014

@Apple ,,|,,

14. phonehome

Posts: 812; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

I guess the Asian version, Satanic version, or just a plain bad attempt at texting a middle middle finger.

13. phonehome

Posts: 812; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Was probably a former (or current) Apple employee who was paid a good sum and / or received a 'get out of jail free' card. (I wouldn't count on too many incumbent gubmint employees to be bright enough with this endeavor.) In the future, all smartphones (Apple and otherwise) should have an optional auto erase feature if not unlocked after a certain period of time.

15. TerryTerius unregistered

There is a whole lot of Grey area here. I don't want any unwanted parties accessing any of my information or pictures... But it is difficult for me to also say I'm comfortable with the idea that criminals will basically have a safe haven to store anything they desire knowing full well the government cannot touch it. Ultimately I lean towards personal protections from criminals and governmental bodies but... I don't see how anyone could say that's an easy decision to come to. It's a lose-lose no matter how you look at it.

17. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Ohhh so now they want FBI to help Them. God they are so pathetic.......

18. Trakker

Posts: 283; Member since: Feb 11, 2016

I've always laughed about Apple's lack of coding ability that they can't even keep IOS secure when all they've done is polish up the same basic, flat OS over the past decade, but now I'm hoping anyone capable of helping Apple improve security will be able to help.

19. Sondae

Posts: 291; Member since: Jan 02, 2013

Before apple don't want to help unlocked the phone of a terrorist due to many reason on security for apple user. Now Apple want to know how DOJ do it lol. How ironic.

20. darkkjedii

Posts: 31274; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

DOJ should be like...ancient Chinese secret.

35. Subie

Posts: 2378; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

LOL, or in this case ancient Israel :)

22. Emzie

Posts: 22; Member since: Mar 28, 2016

Talk about fruits gone bad

23. NewroticSlob

Posts: 182; Member since: May 09, 2013

If Apple wanted to know, then they should have offered the solution. This is not to say they should have just given the DOJ free access. If you don't play well with others, then others find someone else to play with. Could've stayed in the loop instead of being holier than thou.

24. ibap

Posts: 867; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

In the continuing battle between privacy and those who want to know, whether for good or ill, there will be a whole new methodology within 6 months. Apple wants to know? They didn't before? Or are they just trying to scare people into buying a new phone they'll introduce next quarter, claiming to insure privacy. Until someone cracks that one too.

34. sissy246

Posts: 7124; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

AWWWW poor apple.

36. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

DMCA might get used for something besides suing dead grandmothers.

45. tedkord

Posts: 17408; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

DMCA is irrelevant, as it's a US law, and the security was bypassed by an Israeli company.

46. tedkord

Posts: 17408; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Also, it's a terrible law that should be revoked.

54. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

Yep, it's pretty horrible. The security being bypassed by an Israeli company may allow for trade laws to make it enforceable. The same goes with the fact the FBI is paying for the job. Do as I say, not as I do, yah?

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.