Judge says FBI doesn't have to reveal how it hacked into dead terrorist's Apple iPhone 5c

Judge says FBI doesn't have to reveal how it hacked into dead terrorist's Apple iPhone 5c
Early last year, one particular question caught the attention of consumers who follow smartphones and mobile technology. How would the FBI open up the Apple iPhone 5c that belonged to terrorist Syed Farook, who allegedly shot 14 people to death in cold blood on December 2nd in San Bernardino, California. Later that same day, police tracked down Farook and fatally shot him on a San Bernardino street.

While searching Farook's home for evidence, police happened upon his iPhone 5c. The handset, which ironically had been given to the terrorist by his employer, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, was locked and law enforcement was hoping that there was information inside that could reveal the details of any plot, or give away the name of any other targets that were being considered.

At first, the court ordered Apple to unlock the phone, but Apple refused to comply. According to CEO Tim Cook, the company feared that a back door created for the FBI would eventually find its way into the wrong hands and "threaten the security of our customers."

For weeks afterward, Apple and the government went back and forth while GOP candidates, including Donald Trump, attacked Apple for not obeying a court order. Eventually, the government was able to unlock the phone itself. As it turned out, there was no information found on the device that would have been useful to the investigation. For its own purposes, Apple wanted to know how the FBI was able to unlock Farook's iPhone 5c. Rumors suggested that the FBI paid slightly under $1 million to crack the lock on the device.

Apparently, Apple will never find out exactly which hacking tool the FBI employed. A District judge late on Saturday ruled against Vice News, USA Today, and the Associated Press. The trio filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, seeking the name of the product used to unlock the phone, and the price paid by the FBI to buy it. This information is now protected, although the ruling can be appealed.


source: DocumentCloud.org via ZDNet

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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28 Comments

6. torr310

Posts: 1659; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Of course FBI doesn't have to reveal how it hacked into dead terrorist's Apple iPhone 5c. Same reason that Apple doesn't have to reveal the backdoor to FBI. Anything about security, the less people know, the better.

7. BuffaloSouce unregistered

I guess I agree. Apple didn't want to help in the first place but as soon as the phone is unlocked, they get curious and start asking questions. I want to believe a solution with strict regulations and guidelines could've been created with both parties that would prevent said backdoor from getting into an unknown sources hand

10. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1557; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Apple is just upset their system isn't as secure as they claim.

24. NCAAtourney

Posts: 40; Member since: Mar 15, 2016

Do you realize your comment literally makes no sense?

25. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Why not? It got hacked, but existing methods. That flies directly in the face of their claims.

11. Hallyu

Posts: 790; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

Shut up you communist jerk! No country is perfect, the US may be sometimes looking for self benefit, but at least they are much better than communist terrorist like Russia and China. Looking at what they did to divide Korea, and how the North become such a messy brainwashing country. Maybe it's better for you communist to stay under a dictator and dare to criticise them and get slaughter In minutes.

12. LanjaKodaka

Posts: 219; Member since: Sep 27, 2016

99% of these major crimes would not have occurred if USA didn't allow it's citizens to have dangerous firearms. The 2ND amendment did more harm than good.

27. Xilam unregistered

Explain why the states that have extreemly strict gun policies are the worst for gun violence or violence all together?

14. Raito

Posts: 80; Member since: Aug 15, 2014

Waiting for Androcrap fanboys that will always give negative comments about Apple even though Apple did the right things

23. lyndon420

Posts: 6788; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Blah blah blah apple sucks!! There you happy?? Now you can stop suffering.

28. Xilam unregistered

LoL...

18. fyah_king unregistered

I'm a Marine and what Derek Jeter said is mostly true. We created the Taliban and Isis to fight for us against Russia and others. We are basically fighting the people that are trained by us.

21. ibend5

Posts: 24; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

And... Those first five comments above been removed by moderator, lol... I've read those comment and it didn't have bad language or something offensive (comment #11 is much worse tbh, lol..) iPhonearena working hard to defend apple lately, by strictly moderating comment, and banning people :v

20. TMHKR

Posts: 202; Member since: Dec 08, 2012

If I can recall, didn't they employ some hacking company from the Chosenland?

22. darkkjedii

Posts: 31034; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Open your eyes, and you'll see DJ has a valid point, but let's keep it respectful. He has the right to state his opinion/fact, and he doesn't have to leave his birth place for doing so.

26. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Were comments deleted? This thread looks disjointed.

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

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