Edward Snowden says the FBI can hack Syed’s iPhone without Apple’s help

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden claims the FBI doesn’t need Apple’s help to unlock the San Bernardino terrorist iPhone. According to the FBI Apple has the “exclusive technical means” to unlock the terrorist iPhone, in response to that Snowden said “Respectfully, that’s bullsh*t”.

Snowden elaborated later on Twitter: “The global technological consensus is against the FBI,” he then linked to the American Civil Liberties Union website explaining how the FBI could bypass the iPhone’s auto-erase function on its own without Apple’s help.

According to the article, to avoid irreversible auto erase the FBI needs to copy the ‘NAND’ flash memory before it tries numerous password attempts so the file system isn’t wiped permanently.

“All the FBI needs to do to avoid any irreversible auto erase is simple to copy that flash memory (which includes the Effaceable Storage) before it tries 10 passcode attempts. It can then re-try indefinitely, because it can restore the NAND flash memory from its backup copy”.

According to technologist the FBI could have been able to access the phone’s latest iCloud backup if agents working with San Bernardino County had not reset the iCloud password, Apple agrees with this too. Security researchers have also said that there are several options of accessing the iPhone such as “de-capping” the phone’s memory chip so as to access it outside the device, an option Snowden mentioned, or resetting the phone’s internal counter so passwords can be guessed as many times as possible without brute force protection. While these techniques have worked in the past, they could also destroy the iPhone experts say.

Come to think of it, what is the National Security Agency (NSA) doing about the Apple Vs FBI case? Follow Technicollit’s coverage on the FBI Vs Apple here.


Edward Joseph Snowden is an American computer professional born June 21, 1983. He was a former CIA employee, and former contractor for the US Government who copied classified information from the United States National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 without prior authorization. The information revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and Five Eyes with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments. His revelations were the start of a series of global surveillance disclosures.


Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne on April 1, 1976, to develop and sell personal computers. It was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc. on January 3, 1977, and was renamed as Apple Inc. The American multinational technology company designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. Its hardware products include the iPhone smartphone, the iPad tablet computer, the Mac personal computer, the iPod portable media player, and the Apple Watch smartwatch. Apple’s consumer software includes the OS X and iOS operating systems, the iTunes media player, the Safari web browser, and the iLife and iWork creativity and productivity suites. Its online services include the iTunes Store, the iOS App Store and Mac App Store, and iCloud. Apple is headquartered in Cupertino, California.



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    • Collins Eban

      There are things, that are easier said than done… the procedure Snowden listed, though have worked out in the past, but might damage the iPhone, a risk even the FBI isn’t willing to take


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