The FBI director confirmed the purchase of a tool to hack the shooter’s iPhone, but …

Pierluigi Paganini April 08, 2016

The FBI Director James Comey confirmed the Agency had purchased a hacking tool to crack the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, but …

The FBI has found a way to unlock any Apple iPhone, this is the opinion of the majority of security experts. Apple has expressed its concerns about the technique adopted by the Feds to access data on the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.

On Wednesday, the FBI Director James Comey made a strange affirmation, the official said the technique used in the San Bernardino case does not work on an iPhone 5S or later.

Speaking to the audience at the biennial political science conference at Kenyon College in Ohio, Comey explained the limits of the method used for unlocking iPhones.

“It’s a bit of a technological corner case, because the world has moved on to [iPhone] 6’s,” Comey said. “This doesn’t work on sixes, doesn’t work on a 5S. So we have a tool that works on a narrow slice of phones. I can never be completely confident, but I’m pretty confident about that.” reported the CNN.

FBI director James-Comey on iPhone cracking tool

Comey confirmed the agency used a tool bought from a private source, most likely the Israeli mobile forensic firm Cellebrite, because Apple refused to help the DoJ in cracking into the San Bernardino terrorist iPhone.

“The people we bought this from, I know a fair amount about them, and I have a high degree of confidence that they are very good at protecting it, and their motivations align with ours,” Comey said.

Comey hasn’t provided further details on the hacking tool it has bought and its limitation, but security experts believe the problems for the Feds started after the introduction of security measures implemented with the A7 chip, used in the iPhone 5S and later versions.

The FBI will support authorities involved in similar cases, for example in the investigation conducted by the Police in Arkansas in a homicide case that involved two teens accused of killing a couple. In this case, the FBI will unlock the iPhone and iPod belonging to the suspects.

The Feds will also offer their support in a drug investigation case in Brooklyn, this time the seized mobile is an iPhone 5S that runs iOS 7.

FBI vs Apple

Comey added that the US Government is evaluating the opportunity to reveal Apple the method it has used in order to crack the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.

“We tell Apple, then they’re going to fix it, then we’re back where we started from,” he said. “We may end up there, we just haven’t decided yet.”

Stay Tuned …

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – San Bernardino shooters’s iPhone, FBI)

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