The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has offered to help local police departments in the unlocking of any iPhone devices related to crimes. The help is offered after the legal dispute between the agency and Apple.
The FBI has recently been involved in legal matter with the multimillionaire technology company, after the attempts to urge Apple on helping unlock an Iphone involved in a San Bernardino murder.
On December 2nd, 2015, a mass shooting occurred at California’s San Bernardino, leaving 14 dead and 22 injured after multiple attackers struck a social services office. The shooting caused a media storm while trying to find Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik the married couple that committed the attack.
Later on February 2016, the Bureau was unable to unlock Farook’s iPhone model 5C due to its advanced security features. The agency tried to legally obligate Apple to help on the unlocking of the phone but dropped its legal attempts at the end of March 2016.
The agency was later on, able to unlock the iPhone thanks to what they call “The help of a third party”. Rumors assure that the Federal Agency obtained help from an Israel-based company called Cellebrite.
The rumors started after the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth assure that Cellebrite was consider one of the leading companies in the world of digital forensics and that the FBI had previously worked with the company in this field.
“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, we sought an order compelling Apple to help unlock the phone to fulfill a solemn commitment to the victims” Said a statement issued by the Agency on the matter.
Less than a week after the company issued the statement, it has pronounced itself again on the Iphone matter. In a letter to local police departments, the agency assured it will offer its help- and the help from the third party- on the unlocking of iPhones if needed for investigation
“As has been our longstanding policy, the FBI will, of course, consider any tool that might be helpful to our partners. Please know that we will continue to do everything we can to help you, we are in this together” Said the letter issued by the Agency and obtained by CBS news.
Government officials have confirmed that the method used by the FBI and the third party, it has now property rights that belong to the federal agency. The FBI’S little rock field office is already helping local officers in the unlocking of two iPhones owned by suspects on the murder of a couple.
Source: CBS News