FBI says it may have found method to unlock San Bernardino attacker’s iPhone

“The Justice Department said on Monday that it might no longer need Apple’s assistance to help open an iPhone used by a gunman in last year’s San Bernardino, Calif., mass shooting, leading to a postponement of a key hearing over the issue and potentially sidestepping what has become a bitter clash with the world’s most valuable company,” Katie Benner reports for The New York Times.

“The dramatic turn of events came after the Justice Department said in a new court filing that as of Sunday, an outside party had demonstrated a way for the F.B.I. to possibly unlock the phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the San Bernardino attackers.,” Melley reports. “‘Testing is required to determine whether it is a viable method that will not compromise data on Farook’s iPhone,’ the Justice Department wrote in the filing. ‘If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple.’ The Justice Department added that it would file a status report by April 5 on its progress on unlocking the iPhone.”

Melley reports, “The law enforcement official declined to name the outside party that approached investigators with a possible method for opening the phone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The U.S. government just blinked.

Let freedom ring!!!

Apple hires corporate security chief amid legal battle against U.S. government overreach – March 19, 2016
Countdown to doomsday: Apple, FBI face off in court Tuesday – March 19, 2016
Apple sees weakness in FBI’s last-minute hearing request – March 18, 2016
The FBI has a big ulterior motive in its war against privacy and Apple’s encrypted iPhone – March 18, 2016
The law is clear: The FBI cannot make Apple rewrite iOS – March 18, 2016
Apple engineers, if ordered to unlock iPhone, might resist – March 17, 2016
Apple’s Tim Cook on FBI fight: ‘No one’s going dark’ – March 17, 2016
Harvard Law professor and former Obama special assistant dismisses FBI’s claims – March 17, 2016
Apple: The law already exists that protects us from U.S. government demands to hack iPhone – February 26, 2016


    1. The other surprise will be when they announce that the phone contained “crucial” information to thwart an attack. However, they will not be able to tell us what it was because it will to be “classified” due to “nation security”

    2. Apple says that being able to break into the iPhone should scare everyone. It’s a significant threat to national security. That engineers working on this would be in harms way as well. You all believe them and follow along.

      The government now announces that they may have found a third party to break into the iPhone and get the data off of the phone.

      None of you are afraid now. None of you are worried about national security and your own safety. None of you are attacking Apple for having a device that can be broken into in the very same way that they chatised the government for asking them to do.

      Where is all of the worry for the people working on this from the third party? Where is all of the worry about national security over this? About your own safety now?

      Maybe, the third party… is… Apple.

      1. The distinction, which is evidently lost on you is that all companies work constantly to identify and resolve vulnerabilities in their product security. My expectation is that Apple is hot on identifying the vulnerability at work with this exploit, and will patch it as quickly as it can.

        This differs greatly from a backdoor exploit, which is purposely put into the OS, which exists in the wild, which potentially cannot be patched, and always provides an area of vulnerability in the OS.

        That is why there is less concern about an exploit than about an intentional back door.

    3. Except the problem won’t go away as Apple increases security on it’s iOS devices and makes it even more difficult for Joe Hacker to circumvent devices on behalf of the government. In fact this supposed crack solution may not end up working after all.

      1. And as Apple changes its OS, new bugs will be created and found and exploited. It’s en endless cycle that never stops.

        Again, where are all of you screaming scared now that the iPhone could be hacked; a third party may do it with the FBI… it’s going to leak out! We’re all screwed!!! Run… Apple said!

        1. You are scared shit aren’t you troll???

          Apple would leave the country and Its engineers would go to jail as would all 1Billion of its customers before the Government would force it to work for them.

          Now fuck off and die you sick asshole.

    1. Interesting how everyone at MDN thinks the FBI should be embarrassed for not being able to crack Apple’s password lock. Until now, nobody could, except Apple.

      Now that someone has, shouldn’t Apple be embarrassed for having a security hole in iOS?

      I think you’re going to see a flurry of security updates from Apple in the next year, proving that Apple’s products aren’t as airtight as they lead everyone to believe. Better than MS or Google, sure, but not unbreakable.

      1. It’s disingenuous to say Apple could crack the password lock or the encryption: they can’t. That’s the point.

        Nobody else has either.

        So far, it is unbreakable.

      2. I think that’s a misperception.

        1) The FBI claims so themselves in court dealings.

        2) Everyone (even here at MDN) understood that this was not the point of the court dealings, but the FBI could not go out and claim the intended point in this court).

    1. Agreed – – this move seems to be the FBI ducking & running … specifically so that an unfavorable legal precedent against them **ISN’T** set in the courts.

  1. Awesome. Imagine that. Apple can’t make a rock too big our God-like government can’t lift. Well now they can have their ego back for awhile.

    Great news for everybody & Apple has lead the WORLD on this.

  2. They figured Apple would’ve folded by now but Tim Cook refused to budge. They didn’t know who they were dealing with. David has slain Goliath once again as Apple defeats the mighty US government.

  3. Between the FBI, DOJ and the presidential primaries the domestic supply of bull manure was exhausted. They need to import more before starting this all over again.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.