FBI Unlocks iPhone
An undisclosed third party showed the government a technique for decrypting data on the iPhone 5C, so after a long, heated battle with Apple, the FBI was able to unlock the San Bernadino shooter’s phone without Apple’s help.
The iPhone 5C was not a big seller for Apple, and it is not yet known how many other devices may be vulnerable to the FBI’s newly discovered decrypting technique.
Currently, the technique is a closely guarded secret at the FBI for several reasons. If Apple learns the technique, it could correct its security flaw, leaving the FBI with no access once again. (Editorial sidebar: surely Apple is working on this anyway as we speak.) Additionally, if the information becomes public, it could expose millions of customers to snooping or hacking.
At the end of the day, the FBI has a dilemma. It has to decide what to disclose and to whom. It seems that the repercussions of its new discovery are quickly multiplying. An Arkansas prosecutor is requesting the FBI’s help in a murder case involving an iPhone and iPod. The Baton Rouge district attorney is working on a case in which a woman was shot at her doorstep and the killer remains unknown. Her iPhone back-up stops months before the shooting and police hope to find a lead by scrolling through her messages. Those are just two examples of local law enforcement authorities requesting FBI assistance. The list continues to grow.