FBI has successfully unlocked terrorist's iPhone without Apple's help? Let's assessing the situation.


A quick rundown of the main articles on the blogs about the unlocking of the iPhone by the FBI

EFF is pleased that the Justice Department has retreated from its dangerous and unconstitutional attempt to force Apple to subvert the security of its iOS operating system. However, we are still calling on President Obama not to undermine security and encryption, and you can add your voice to the chorus.

From www.eff.org

End of Apple vs. FBI. At least for now, when the FBI has unlocked iPhone successfully. Yes, you heard it right. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has unlocked dead terrorist’s iPhone 5C involved in the San Bernardino shooting without the help of Apple. After weeks of arguments, the United States government is withdrawing its motion compelling Apple to build a backdoored version of its iOS that can help the agency unlock iPhone of San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook.

From thehackernews.com

FBI vs. iPhone

The mysterious “outside party” has not been identified, though some have speculated that it could be a current partner of the FBI’s. The FBI has business arrangements with a number of mobile forensics outfits, and one in particular, Cellebrite of Israel, was flagged as a possibility by a newspaper in Israel.

From threatpost.com

FBI acknowledged today that there “appears” to be an alternative way into Farook’s iPhone 5c – something that experts have been shouting for weeks now; in fact, we’ve been saying there are several viable methods. Before I get into which method I think is being used here, here are some possibilities of other viable methods and why I don’t think they’re part of the solution being utilized

From zdziarski.com

Non sono passate nemmeno 48 ore dall’annuncio dell’FBI secondo cui “l’aiuto di Apple non è più necessario per lo sblocco dell’iPhone del terrorista americano”. Ovviamente esattamente al contrario di quanto sostenuto ripetutamente espergiurato di fronte a tutto e tutti per settimane, arrivando quasi a dare del terrorista al CEO di Apple. No, non era necessario, scusate vi stavamo prendendo in giro.

From Linkedin Pulse

It is not clear how this was achieved, but the FBI said last week that it had been contacted by an ‘outside party’ that claimed to be able to crack the phone without Apple’s help.

From v3.co.uk


Apparently, the FBI had already changed the murderer’s Apple ID password in order to access data he may have stored in Apple’s iCloud, instead of first trying to induce the locked-but-alive iPhone to sync its local data first, and only then going after the data in the cloud.

From NakedSecurity

Some digital rights activists say the FBI should disclose its method, because it represents a vulnerability that could affects tens of millions of other iPhones in use around the world.

From Securityweek

Molti utenti di iPhone avranno ora il timore di trovarsi con un telefonino vulnerabile, che ha una falla che potrebbe essere usata dai criminali per fare danni, ma occorre tenere presente che il modello di iPhone scardinato dall’FBI è un iPhone 5c, quindi non la versione più recente, che ha un hardware di sicurezza potenziato, e che nei mesi trascorsi dai fatti di sangue di San Bernardino causati da Farook Apple ha rilasciato parecchi aggiornamenti del proprio software rispetto all’iOS 9 dell’iPhone in oggetto.

From Il Disinformatico

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation worked with Israel’s Cellebrite Mobile Synchronization Ltd. to crack the iPhone used in the shooting last year in San Bernardino, California, according to people familiar with the matter.

From Bloomberg


Cellebrite, headquartered in Petah Tikva, Israel — with its North American office in Parsippany, New Jersey — is a global company known for its breakthroughs in mobile data technology, delivering comprehensive solutions for mobile forensics and mobile lifecycle management.

Cellebrite mobile forensics solutions give access to and unlock the intelligence of mobile data sources to extend investigative capabilities, accelerate investigations, unify investigative teams and produce solid evidence.

From Forbes

Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aharonot reported Wednesday that the unidentified party is Cellebrite, based just outside Tel Aviv. But the FBI and Cellebrite have refused to confirm any relationship. And on Thursday, unnamed law enforcement officials speaking on background to USA Today squashed reports of a partnership.

From Mashable

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After repeatedly attempting to reboot the phone with no success, the F.B.I. consulted several Apple support forums for tips on fixing a waterlogged iPhone. “I wish I could report that any of them worked,” the spokesman said.

From The New Yorker

Published: March 31 2016