Finally, after so many arguments and exchange of acrimonious statements, finally the FBI does not have to rely on Apple to hack into the iPhone of the San Bernardino terrorist. This was what the FBI had wanted Apple to do and the Apple employees even threatened to quit if they were forced to help the FBI hack into the iPhone of the San Bernardino terrorist.
Then the FBI found another party that claimed that it would be able to hack into the iPhone of the killer. This seems to have finally happened according to this Fortune report, but now there is another problem for Apple.
Since the FBI has been able to hack into the iPhone it has been proven that the encryption technology provided by Apple is not, after all, as impenetrable as was being claimed by the company. It was acting as if its encryption technology was the best thing that has ever happened to the world and all hell would break loose if it were forced to create a backdoor entry to the terrorist’s iPhone.
What now, people may ask? Now people know that if someone tries really hard, the iPhone can be hacked into despite the built-in safeguards. What about the intransigent stand the company was taking against the FBI even at the cost of compromising justice to the families of the victims of the San Bernardino killings?
The Justice Department, due to the latest development, has decided to abandon its bid to force Apple to help it unlock the iPhone. According to the filing of the prosecutors, they have “now successfully access the data” stored in Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone and therefore, they no longer need Apple’s court-ordered help.
The FBI hasn’t made it known publicly how it was able to hack into the iPhone of the San Bernardino killer and what information it was able to retrieve and how that information was going to help in the case. The bureau hasn’t even reveal the name of the party that is helping it unlock the iPhone.
This Washington Post report though, says that the FBI has “figured out” how to hack into the iPhone rather than actually hack into it. They would like to test the method further before implementing it on the actual iPhone. But whether they have been able to hack into the iPhone or they are just trying out a method that they think is going to work, they have withdrawn the appeal that was supposed to force Apple help the FBI.
As the technology progresses the civilized world will need to find a middle path – a path that affords full security to law-abiding citizens but leaves space for law enforcement agencies to hack into the devices of terrorists as and when needed.