FBI 'zero-day iPhone hack'

The FBI bought security vulnerabilities from infosec professionals to crack the locked iPhone of San Bernardino killer Syed Farook, it is claimed.

According to the Washington Post today, the Feds did not use the services of Cellebrite – previously rumored to have helped the g-men:

The FBI cracked a San Bernardino terrorist’s phone with the help of professional hackers who discovered and brought to the bureau at least one previously unknown software flaw, according to people familiar with the matter.

The new information was then used to create a piece of hardware that helped the FBI to crack the iPhone’s four-digit personal identification number without triggering a security feature that would have erased all the data, the individuals said.

The bureau in this case did not need the services of the Israeli firm Cellebrite, as some earlier reports had suggested, people familiar with the matter said.

The FBI tried strong-arming Apple into creating a custom iOS to install on the iPhone 5C to help agents safely unlock it, but in the end turned to unnamed experts to crack the device. ®


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