“In the end, the FBI didn’t need Apple’s help to extract information from a dead terrorist’s iPhone,” Shane Harris reports for The Daily Beast. “Hackers, the FBI says, did the government’s work for it.”
“Tech companies and researchers around the world beat a path to the bureau’s door. Let us find a way into that phone that Apple won’t help you crack, they said,” Harris reports. “You won’t find that version of events spelled out quite so bluntly in any court documents. But it’s essentially what FBI Director James Comey told reporters last week in Washington. ‘The attention that’s been drawn to this issue, by the litigation and by the controversy that’s surrounded it, has stimulated a marketplace of creative people all around the world to try and come up with ideas,’ Comey said. ‘Lots of folks have come to us with potential ideas.'”
“Cellebrite, an Israeli company, has been identified in some news accounts as the company that came to the FBI’s rescue. It signed a contract with the bureau worth more than $15 million last week,” Harris reports. “In other words: The American government may have used foreign hackers to crack the signature product of America’s top technology company.”
“But it’s hard to imagine Apple didn’t have some idea what was coming. One of Cellebrite’s other clients is Apple itself. The company uses Cellebrite in some of its stores to help customers transfer data between phones,” Harris reports. “There’s a big market out there for hackers who can break the toughest technology. And the FBI has posted a help wanted ad.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Every avenue exposed is an avenue that Apple can close to make iOS even more secure.
If the feds fail to disclose, as we wrote last week:
Apple should simply buy Cellebrite and other entities like it and task these newly acquired engineers with hardening iPhone to ridiculously hack-proof levels.
Apple declares victory in battle with FBI, but the war continues – March 29, 2016
Apple vows to increase security as FBI claims to break into terrorist’s iPhone – March 29, 2016
U.S. government drops Apple case after claiming hack of terrorist’s iPhone – March 29, 2016
Meet Cellebrite, the Israeli company reportedly cracking iPhones for the FBI – March 24, 2016