Law enforcement agencies under the guidance of the United States government may have gone to almost every single length possible to gain access to one of Apple’s iPhones, but it looks as though that unwavering pursuit is yet to prove fruitful for the FBI. After unsuccessfully attempting to force Apple to unlock an iPhone 5c used in the San Bernardino shooting last year, the FBI allegedly enlisted the help of hackers familiar with a flaw in the iOS software to gain access to the data within. According to a new report that access has so far failed to produce any findings that are noteworthy or relevant to the case.
The report is citing a member of “law enforcement” as the source of the information that has formed the basis of today’s report. After initially trying to use the legal system to force Apple into providing help in gaining access to the device, the FBI ultimately ended up abandoning that idea in favor of accessing the device through other methods. Those methods are currently unknown, but speculation suggests that the Bureau could have enlisted the services of either a third-party private entity, or even a group of specialized hackers with knowledge of iOS vulnerabilities.
Either way, nothing of “real significance” has been discovered on the iPhone 5c, at least not yet. It’s highly likely that agents from within the FBI who are handling the case will continue to trawl through the data on the device, but there exists the real possibility that the hardware simply doesn’t contain anything of value to the case, or simply wasn’t used in any notable manner in the run up to last year’s despicable shooting.
The FBI is, and always was, fully aware and understanding of the potential for the device to actually be useless to the case once access was gained. With that said, the need to actually get that access and see the data first-hand is not in question.
It’ll be interesting to see how this situation actually evolves, and just what the FBI will, or will not, announce if any data of interest is actually discovered on the device. FBI Director James Comey has also said that his agency may or may not fill Apple in on the blanks that currently exist around how access to the device was actually granted, which by the way only works on non-Touch ID devices. Of course, if they do, Apple will act swiftly to patch any used vulnerabilities, which surely is for the greater good of consumers?
(Source: CBS News)
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