Government opens Farook's Apple iPhone 5c without Apple's help

Government opens Farook's Apple iPhone 5c without Apple's help
The Justice Department announced today that it was able to open up the Apple iPhone 5c that was used by deceased terrorist Syed Farook, without Apple's help. Suspecting that there might be some clues inside the phone about the San Bernardino attack that killed 14, the Justice Department asked Apple to turn over all information it could pull out of the handset that Farook had used. But Apple said that it was unable to do so without building a new version of iOS that was quickly dubbed Govt. OS. Apple was concerned that if it developed Govt.OS, the code would come out allowing hackers to steal personal information from iPhone users around the world.

Apple's decision not to comply with a court order forcing them to unlock the device became a nationwide issue; many sided with Apple, and others were unsure why Apple wasn't punished for contempt of court. A court hearing that was going to be held last Tuesday was canceled after the Justice Department announced out of nowhere that it had found a third party to unlock the phone.

The Justice Department released a two paragraph statement today saying that the government has successfully accessed the data on Farook's phone and no longer required assistance from Apple. Thus, it was a win-win situation. The feds get their data, and Apple does not have to risk the privacy of all iPhone users world wide. But the battle will still go on. Last month, a federal magistrate judge in the Eastern District of New York refused a government request to force Apple to open an Apple iPhone 5s to release information in a drug case in Brooklyn. The Justice Department is appealing that ruling.

The government is remaining silent on how it unlocked Farook's iPhone 5c. Late last week, there was some talk that Israeli software company Cellebrite had entered into a $15,000 contract with the FBI for the purpose of opening the phone, but that has not been confirmed. Some believe that Apple should be given the opportunity to find out how the phone was opened so that it can close the opening and make the phone secure again. But considering how badly the government wanted to unlock this phone, and how it might need to unlock more iPhones in the future, we don't expect the government to be open to that suggestion.

Now that the phone has been opened, the Justice Department has officially dropped its legal case against Apple.

The Government opens Farook's iPhone 5c without help from Apple

The Government opens Farook's iPhone 5c without help from Apple


source: NYTimes

Related phones

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)

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98 Comments

1. Unordinary unregistered

They finally tried 1234

5. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

LOL The whole US government and FBI took that long time to unlock an iPhone; This makes feel the iOS is pretty safe enough and couldn't be hacked easily. Before this case, I really didn't expect the iOS that secure at all!

8. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

They only really started trying to unlock it on the 21st. Before that they were just trying to get Apple to do it for them. So it only took them a week to unlock it.

12. Rafishant

Posts: 392; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

I guess the US government tried many times with lots of software security experts, but failed. And then, they transferred the case to Apple. All in all, this is a phenomenal victory to Apple. They first didn't sacrifice their principals and privacy, and second they proved the iPhone is very secure. Apple deserves recognition. If the FBI needed weeks to unlock an iPhone, the hackers might need years if never

18. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

They only proved it's not as secure as they say. The exploit is out there, and now Apple doesn't control it, and doesn't know how to plug it.

45. spin9

Posts: 310; Member since: May 31, 2014

APPLE must sue the Israeli company for breaking iphone's security

82. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

15. AlikMalix unregistered

You missed the reports that the government. Tried to unlock it themselves. Think about it - if there's in fact potential information that's on it - it is time sensitive as these terrorist move fast. Why would they wait all this time to wait (think of time between inside t and until they asked Apple to assist) and only after try to force Apple. Don't forget they messed up their chance to access the iCloud back up info before crying to Apple. Oh don't fool yourself - they tried - and tried a lot.

19. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

No, they didn't, because they feared that 10 tries was all they had. They literally only tried actually accessing it a few days ago.

70. KyleRiemen

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 29, 2014

Isn't it obvious? Apple helped them unofficially and now they are both winners...

90. MrHate

Posts: 313; Member since: Feb 09, 2015

"only a week". I wonder how many minutes it would take them to unlock any Android phone.

10. vliang86

Posts: 337; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

If it is Android, that will take them one day to hack!

20. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It only took cellbrite one day.

17. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Long? It's been literally a few days. Probably only took one day. They didn't start trying before because they didn't want to trip the wipe security.

34. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Don't be ignorant tedkord. They couldn't break into or do I have to remind you of Stagefrightgate?

37. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

They did, so obviously you're still full of sh*t. You can remind me of whatever you like - my phone is immune to stagefright.

89. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Nope that's your comments. Your phone isn't immune to vulnerabilities. Get over it.

92. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Of course it isn't. Show one single instance where I said it was. Just one. No phone is invulnerable. This isn't about my comments, it's about your butthurt that the iPhone is also vulnerable.

98. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

He didnt say it wasn't. He said it was immune to StageFright specifically. You trolled his comment, and then suffer stupidity-nesia right afterwards. How quaint.!

57. Unordinary unregistered

It's been going on for over a month lol, with Apple. No one was able to hack it until now, and they still most likely didn't, regardless of the claims.

63. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

They didn't try during that month because they didn't want it to wipe. They brainstormed ideas, sure, but didn't actually try. Then they handed out to a third party, and within a day or two, boom - open.

69. AlikMalix unregistered

ted, you're smart, but why cant you consider that they used dummy iphones that were set up the same way, one after another, after another... You dont think that they actually would try it on the real device... they bought probably hundreds of iphones 5c, set them up with a passcode and tried again and again and again differentiating their methods - so did the other hacking companes, so did McCaffie, an anyone one that was interested. Yes they kept the terrorists iphone in the bag, but you dont think they used other iphones to try different methods during ALL THIS TIME? I bet they couldnt successfully hack any of the other iphones to try and unlock "the terrorist one"

76. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Because they couldn't know how it was setup. It could have been set to wipe, it could have been a 4 digit pin, 6 digit pin our long, strong password.

87. Mxyzptlk unregistered

You're in denial

93. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You're in pain.

42. DnB925Art

Posts: 1167; Member since: May 23, 2013

But now that the gov't has the method, and Apple does not know exactly what method they used, the gov't can now use this method to unlock other phones quickly without Apple's help.

71. AlikMalix unregistered

i could imagine that the update log for ios 9.3.1 will have: -Blah, blah blah -Blah blah 23 -blah blah after blah -blah blah new blah -also blah blah -prevents government to access your phone using blah blah method discovered by 3rd party company -blah blah -we added ability blah blah -blah blah blah -removed blah blah -fixes and blah blah...

54. engineer-1701d unregistered

It took 1 day to unlock by old tech, the court battle and following the law took that long and would still go on now if not for 3rd party

38. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Now that would be a funny ending to this story, if it were 1234.

53. engineer-1701d unregistered

Still apple should be funded for not doing what a court ordered, if any of us did something any thing even close to this and disobeyed then we would be in jail and fined. They need a hefty hefty fine

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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