FBI probes ‘new method’ to unlock San Bernardino attacker’s iPhone
PUBLISHED Mon, March 21, 2016 - 9:14pm EDT
The Federal Bureau of Investigation says it is investigating a new method that may allow investigators to break into the iPhone of San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook without the assistance of Apple. (more)
The government requested in a court filing on Monday that Tuesday's court hearing be canceled to allow the FBI to test the proposed method. U.S. Magistrate Judge Sherri Pym later granted the request and ordered a status report to be filed by April 5.
In the court filing, the Justice Department said "others outside the U.S. government" had contacted investigators to offer avenues of possible research. On Sunday, one such "outside party" demonstrated a possible method that could allow investigators to break into Farook's iPhone.
"We must first test this method to ensure that it doesn't destroy the data on the phone, but we remain cautiously optimistic," Justice Department spokeswoman Melanie Newman said. If successful, the FBI would no longer need Apple's assistance, effectively ending the high-profile court battle.
Last month, Judge Pym ordered Apple to assist the FBI in breaking into Farook's iPhone after investigators said they had failed to do so on their own. The order is currently being appealed and sparked a backlash from tech leaders around the world, arguing that the government's request would create a backdoor into every iPhone and would undermine decades of security advancements.
FBI agents searched the California townhome of the brother of one of the San Bernardino terror attack shooters. Syed Raheel Farook is a Navy veteran who earned medals for fighting global terrorism. Agents were carrying out a search warrant as part of an ongoing investigation.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook says his company will not comply with a court order to help the FBI break into an iPhone recovered from one of the San Bernardino shooters citing the move would threaten the security of its customers. (more) Read More
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym in California has ordered Apple to assist the Federal Bureau of Investigation in breaking into the encrypted phone of Syed Rizwan Farook, who was one of the two shooters who carried out an attack in San Bernardino in December, killing 14 people. The FBI had earlier indicated that it was unable to break into Farook's phone. Read More