Reported by CNN; FBI has unlocked one of the two iPhones owned by Mohammad Saeed Aishamrani.
In December 2019, a mass shoot down took place at Naval Air Station, Florida. The raid was brought by Alshamrani, a shooter accused of killing three people at the carnage before getting shot down. The FBI found two encrypted iPhones.
It is not uncommon for government agencies to lock horns with Apple when it comes to security. Earlier, the FBI sent a request to Apple to build a backdoor into its iPhones. The letter sent by FBI general counsel Dana Boente said the agency had a warrant to search the device. Sadly for FBI though, they couldn’t bypass the phone’s lock screen.
“Investigators are actively engaging in efforts to ‘guess’ the relevant passcodes but so far have been unsuccessful,” Boente said.
The company proclaims handing over iCloud data to the FBI – which it casually does on court orders. Often, the iCloud includes a backup of the iPhone’s hard drive, though not the password to the phone. Apple can’t give access to the data on the local storage of the iPhone.
Apple says that their company gives all data in their possession.
The shooter reportedly owned iPhone 7 and iPhone 5s. According to the reports, the FBI was able to decrypt the iPhone without Apple’s intervention.
In a reply to The Verge‘s email, Apple denied receiving any request letter from FBI, and said,
“We have the greatest respect for law enforcement and have always worked cooperatively to help in their investigations,” a company representative said. “When the FBI requested information from us relating to this case a month ago we gave them all of the data in our possession and we will continue to support them with the data we have available.”Apple
Apple overcame a similar condition back in 2016 when the U.S Federal judge proposed the company to create specialized software for iOS to unlock an iPhone owned by Syed Farook a volunteer in San Bernardino shooting which left 14 people dead. Apple neglected to build backdoor and replied that building backdoor is insecure and that it’ll be a threat to its iPhone and iPad users.
Over time the FBI bought software to infiltrate the suspect’s iPhone’s security. Initially, the FBI didn’t disclose the amount spend on the app, but recently Senator Dianne Feinstein told that the software cost them $900,000.
This year Apple released a statement about not building a backdoor:
We have always maintained there is no such thing as a backdoor just for the good guys. Backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers. Today, law enforcement has access to more data than ever before in history, so Americans do not have to choose between weakening encryption and solving investigations. We feel strongly that encryption is vital to protecting our country and our users’ data.Apple