FBI finds another way to get into Farook's Apple iPhone 5c; Tuesday's court hearing is vacated

FBI finds another way to get into Farook's Apple iPhone 5c; Tuesday's court hearing is vacated
A court hearing scheduled for tomorrow between Apple and the Department of Justice has been cancelled. The DOJ was seeking to have Apple comply with a court order that required it to open the Apple iPhone 5c belonging to deceased terrorist Syed Farook. Apple has been saying that the only way to unlock the device and give the government the information it wants, is to build a new version of its OS which it dubs Govt.OS. But there is plenty of risk in doing that. If the code gets into the wrong hands, every iPhone user on earth will no longer be able to count on the device being a secure place to store personal information.

The DOJ believes that Farook's phone could contain the name of a possible accomplice, or other targets that Farook and his wife were looking at. The couple killed 14 people in an office building in San Bernardino, and were themselves killed hours later by a hail of police bullets during a shoot out with cops.

The cancellation of the hearing came about after the DOJ announced that it had discovered a way into the iPhone 5c without requiring Apple engineers to build a new OS. This afternoon, a court filing made by the DOJ revealed that an outside party showed the FBI how it could unlock Farook's iPhone. Testing is still required to make sure that this method doesn't compromise the data on the device, and Apple wants to chat with this third party to find out how he is able to unlock the device. Apple is no longer under any obligation to help the DOJ obtain the information inside the phone.


Keep in mind that if true, this is not a victory for the DOJ and a loss for Apple. It is a win-win as the government gets the data it was looking for, and Apple doesn't have to put the security of its customers at risk. Apple never said that it wouldn't turn over information involving this case; indeed, the company had already turned over information to the DOJ involving Farook. The company was fighting to keep its customers' information safe.

source: BGR

FEATURED VIDEO

39 Comments

1. combatmedic870

Posts: 983; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Well that's something I guess.

2. Luuthian

Posts: 332; Member since: Sep 09, 2011

Sounds like the FBI felt like they were losing footing and didn't want to risk a massive court circus with a potential ruling that would close down their efforts to open up corporate encryption methods for a good long while. They'll wait for the next opportunity to justify similar actions against no doubt, but for now they'll bow out and both sides will simmer for a bit as things go on as they have.

3. TerryTerius unregistered

I'm not convinced of that. Public polling was on the FBI's side going into this.

30. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

What footing would they had lost as they hadn't even gotten past the filing of briefs stage up to this point. There was no footing on either side as there was never a hearing. It really makes no difference how hard or soft corporate encryption is as the government already retains the authority to compel a proprietor to unlock a property if it's specifically warranted. The key being whether a situation warrants the access.

4. Unordinary unregistered

Doubt it. The only reason they most likely called off the hearing was so they could wait for another emotionally devastating terrorist attack, and use it against Apples amazing encryption. BTW https://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/4bchj2/paris_terrorists_used_burner_phones_not/?

20. talon95

Posts: 990; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

By the time this come up again Apple, Android, Win10, etc will have locked themselves out in new ways making the current request even more impossible. And I don't believe the FBI could ever justify it in court anyways. They knew they'd lose horribly and risk exposing more of their unlawful actions to the public.

5. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

So, up until now, the only way to get to the information was to build a new version of iOS, according to Apple. But now some third party has a way to do it? So doesn't that mean that their security is compromised? They'd be wise to get with this third party and shore up their software if this is true.

11. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3948; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

The security of iOS isn't compromised because there is no backdoor being made. Anything can be hacked(or whatever else you want to call extracting data from a locked device) it just takes time, what the FBI wanted from Apple would allow anyone who got their hands on the Gov OS to instantly break into any iPhone they wanted.

24. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

So someone able to go past all the security locks in ios, isn't being compromised?

25. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Why is that apple absolutely needed to write this special OS to open up every Idevice on the planet? Could one not imagine it would be locked to one single device? And btw, how many times have Apple got they source code for ios stolen? How many times have they got their development versions stolen? How many times have hackers been able to push out falls versions of ios to all the iphones in the world?

27. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3948; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Maybe they needed to write the special OS because nobody at Apple is smart enough to hack their way past their own encryption. Because if there was such a person at Apple they could have just done that the first time around when they gave the FBI what info they could from the 5c.

31. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

No. Since iOS 8, Apple intentionally built it's encryption security in a way that Apple itself will not be able to crack it, even under a judiciary or court order.

37. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3948; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Why say that to me? I said no one at Apple was smart enough to crack their own encryption that's basically the same thing that you just said.

34. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

40. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

This is exactly what I was saying, if they can't exploit this vulnerability and people outside Apple can, that means two things, that the security is compromised, and they need to get with these people and make sure it's resolved if they're truly worried about security.

26. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3948; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Compromised for that phone yeah but not every iOS user.

35. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

That compromisation could set a precedent that will later compromise every other iOS user!

38. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3948; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Like Apple would let that happen.

39. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

From the article: "Apple has been saying that the only way to unlock the device and give the government the information it wants, is to build a new version of its OS which it dubs Govt.OS. " They said the ONLY way they could get the info for the government was to build a new OS. So if they could hack the device with time, why did they say that was the ONLY way to do it? That is what I am getting at. So either they were lying about that being the only way to get the info and used it to garner good publicity, or they didn't realize that there was this vulnerability, and they should work with the aforementioned third party to ensure the vuulnerability isn't exploited by others. The reason I mentioned them using it for publicity is that Apple and all those who have publicly sided with them on this issue, namely Google and Microsoft, were all shown to have given information about their users to the government in the Snowden leaks, which put them in a bad light with the public. I could definitely see these companies using this as a way to get back in their customer's good graces.

42. AlikMalix unregistered

Is it possible that their 3rd party sourse built a mirroring GovtOS for the FBI? It might be the ONLY way, but Apple is not THE ONLY ENTITY that can do that...

54. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I would imagine that the reason that the government was asking Apple to do that was because to make a full OS, one would need things considered trade secrets by Apple. Otherwise why would the FBI being going through all of this publicly. But if Apple isn't the only one capable of making a GovtOS for their devices, then they're not completely secure, and should be consulting with this third party to rectify the situation.

7. drunkenjay

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

i guess mcafee helped them

10. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3948; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Wonder if the 3rd party is John Mcfee because he offered once to get the info the FBI wanted from the 5c.

23. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

So the iphone can be opened with its locks activivated? Ha ha ha, so much for the suckers privacy :-)

29. AlikMalix unregistered

How did you go from: "Govt. found someone else to help", to: "iphone can now be opened". Govt. probably got frustrated with Apple and going to try something/someone else.... "the next best solution"... Dont troll so much, it'll give you a hemorrhoid.

32. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Probably because that's exactly what the article states: From above, "This afternoon, a court filing made by the DOJ revealed that an outside party showed the FBI how it could unlock Farook's iPhone."

41. AlikMalix unregistered

"... how it COULD unlock" It's a world play, I agree, but your bias and my bias will let us see it the way we want to see it.... Anything man made can be hacked, even non-man made like the double helix can be hacked. And I know that Apple isnt the only one that can hack iOS... I'm just replying to RubberEngi - hes tone suggest that iOS has no ability to protect privacy of a user - "so much for the suckers privacy"... I'm surprised that IT TOOK SO DAMN LONG to come up with a "possible" solution, especially that it's a hot topic world wide and that EVERY HACKER was trying to accomplish this including the best that FBI can afford WORLD WIDE!!!

28. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

I was expecting something a little more dramatic. How disappointing.

36. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

It's a win-win for the FBI and Apple as well.

47. S-R-K

Posts: 304; Member since: Mar 15, 2016

Win only for Fbi.

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 https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.