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Fbi hacked terrorist’s iPhone without Apple

The FBI vs Apple battle has finally ended. The FBI claims that they managed to hack the terrorist’s iPhone 5c and retrieve the data they needed, without help from Apple. The Department of Justice filed an order to vacate motion stating that :

The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple Inc. mandated by Court’s Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search dated February 16, 2016.

Melanie Newman, DoJ spokeswoman, said :

“The FBI is currently reviewing the information on the phone, consistent with standard investigatory procedures.”

Last week the court hearing against Apple was postponed by the request of the DoJ to possibly explore alternative unlocking methods. Looks like their effort paid off and Apple won’t be forced to create a backdorred iOS version for the government. Although the DoJ did not specify the method they used to get the data, experts suspect it’s NAND mirroring. This technique assumes that someone copies the contents of the phone’s NAND memory chip and flash when the max number of attempts is exceeded back to the phone, thus increasing the number of attempts.

Apple has learned about this hack and relesead a statement via The Verge :

“From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple builds a backdoor into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent. As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought.

We will continue to help law enforcement with their investigations, as we have done all along, and we will continue to increase the security of our products as the threats and attacks on our data become more frequent and more sophisticated.

Apple believes deeply that people in the United States and around the world deserve data protection, security and privacy. Sacrificing one for the other only puts people and countries at greater risk.

This case raised issues which deserve a national conversation about our civil liberties, and our collective security and privacy. Apple remains committed to participating in that discussion.”

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