FBI to hack into locked iPhone with help from Israeli company

Apple iPhone passcode ID
Credit: IDG

Apple's saga with the FBI isn't over just yet, but it appears that the two entities are no longer on a collision course, legally speaking of course. Earlier this week, the DOJ filed a motion with the court overseeing the matter to postpone an upcoming hearing which was scheduled to take place on Tuesday. The reason? The DOJ relayed that the FBI may have found a way to access the locked iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists with out Apple's assistance..

As has been recounted before, the iPhone in question was equipped with a passcode and may have been set up to erase itself after 10 failed passcode entries. As a result, the FBI wanted Apple to create an entirely new and modified version of iOS that would have bypassed this security mechanism. In turn, the FBI would have been able to implement a brute force attack to access the device.

Apple of course wanted to do no such thing, and even called into question the degree to which the FBI truly sought other avenues to access the device. As many have opined, the FBI in this case was arguably more concerned with setting a precedent than they were with accessing the phone.

Now comes word via Reuters that the FBI will be seeking assistance from an Israeli software firm called Cellebrite. If Cellebrite's data retrieval method proves successful, the FBI of course will no longer need Apple's assistance.

Cellebrite, a subsidiary of Japan's Sun Corp, has its revenue split between two businesses: a forensics system used by law enforcement, military and intelligence that retrieves data hidden inside mobile devices and technology for mobile retailers.

Following Reuters' report, twitter user Zenalbatross posted a photo online purporting to show that the FBI signed a $15,000 contract with Cellebrite for their services.

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