Even though the legal fight between the FBI and Apple over the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone is officially over, Apple is far from done with the matter. The Silicon Valley company has yet to figure out how the federal agency hacked into the device without its help.
This is not the first time an agency of law enforcement required the assistance of Apple (or Google) when it comes to bypassing security protocols built into iOS (and Android).
After the FBI found a way to unlock the shooter’s iPhone without Apple’s help, the federal agency said it would assist other law enforcement agencies in their own investigations – while also abiding by existing laws.
Even though the FBI did not reveal specifics about how it managed to hack the smartphone, the possibility that Apple finds out how it did it will increase with every iPhone the FBI helps unlock for criminal cases.
The FBI was able to bypass the screen lock of the iPhone without Apple’s help and without triggering the data wipe that occurs if someone types in too many incorrect passcode entries.
Reuters posted an open letter that the FBI sent to all law enforcement agencies across the U.S. that showed the FBI’s willingness to “consider any tool that might be helpful to our partners.”
“As has been our longstanding policy, the FBI will […] continue to do everything we can to help you consistent with our legal and policy constraints,” said the federal agency in the letter.
The touching message of unity in the fight against crime was sent five days after the agency dropped the case against Apple.
Meanwhile, the tech giant said it was determined to find out the method used by the FBI to break into the iPhone 5c. A spokesperson for the company said this won’t be secret for too long and outside security experts agreed.
According to a senior Apple engineer, the firm hopes to find out the flaw that the FBI exploited so it can patch it up. “Flaws of this nature have a pretty short life cycle,” he said, showing that Apple is invested in keeping your iPhone data secure.
Should the FBI’s hack be shared with other departments, the exploit would be viable only for a few months. Jonathan Zdziarski, an independent forensics expert, said it would be a “temporary Vegas jackpot that would quickly get squandered on the case backlog.”
Image Source: Tech Crunch