US DOJ cracks San Bernardino shooter's iPhone

FBI no longer needs Apple's help, it says in court filing

The U.S. government has managed to access the iPhone used by San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook, bypassing a passcode that had the FBI stymied for several weeks.

"The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple," the Department of Justice said in a court filing on Monday.

The filing didn’t detail the method used to access the phone, but U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a statement that it had been accomplished with the help of a third party.

The DOJ had been attempting to force Apple to write software that would help it unlock the phone, but last week the DOJ asked that the case be put on hold pending investigation of a possible workaround.

The government needed Apple’s help because of a security function designed to prevent multiple, successive attempts to guess the passcode. A string of failed attempts would have resulted in the phone’s memory being wiped clean.

Apple had vehemently rejected the FBI’s call for help, despite a court order compelling it to do so, saying it would amount to a backdoor into the operating system that would weaken iPhone security for all users.

The two were preparing to argue their case in front of a judge last Monday when the DOJ called for the pause. Now the government is asking for the order against Apple to be dropped because it’s no longer needed.

"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," Decker said in the statement.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags applefbi

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?