Apple’s assistance is no longer required, the FBI can unlock the iPhone

Apple vs FBI

After months of public and legal dispute between the FBI and Apple over the San Bernardino terrorist phone, the FBI seems to finally have their way into the iPhone. Based on the court filing today, prosecutors told the court that Apple’s assistance is no longer required because there’s already a new method for breaking into Syed’s iPhone.

Our decision to conclude the litigation was based solely on the fact that, with the recent assistance of a third party, we are now able to unlock that iPhone without compromising any information on the phone

Eileen M. Decker
United States Attorney

Details of the data found on the iPhone have not been revealed by the government yet, according to DOJ spokeswoman Melanie Newman the FBI is currently reviewing the information on the phone, consistent with standard investigatory procedures.

Few days ago a report from YNetNews says the FBI is currently working with Cellebrite, a world leader when it comes to digital forensics to uncover the information on the locked iPhone. It wasn’t identified if new method was provided by Cellebrite.

The Department of Justice has promised to continue to gather data from encrypted devices. “It remains a priority for the government to ensure that law enforcement can obtain crucial digital information to protect national security and public safety, either with cooperation from relevant parties or through the court system.” DOJ’s Newman said. “We will continue to pursue all available options for this mission, including seeking the cooperation of manufacturers and relying upon the creativity of both the public and private sectors.”

It seems whether you like it or not, the Department of Justice will one way or the other find a way into your encrypted device, well of course for the sake of public safety. Many believe this new method might not just be used only for Syed’s iPhone 5C, but probably as a “universal unlocker”.

Tim Cooks view on it doesn’t seem funny at all, he made it clear that this will grant the government power over peoples privacy.

“If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.”

Apple hasn’t said anything yet on this but its lawyers had previously said they would push for the government to disclose the third-party tool, which the FBI probably wouldn’t want to do, if Apple knows of this procedure, the company will definitely patch the loop hole knowing fully well that it is a serious security flaw thus making it another series of “unlock, or not to unlock saga” between the FBI and Apple if the FBI demands a iPhone to be unlocked.

 

The FBI bypassing Apple’s security feature, means others too can use a similar method to break into iPhone’s in the future unless Apple discovers the vulnerability and fixes it. The question now is, could this set A Dangerous Precedent?


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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