The FBI Has Successfully Unlocked The iPhone Without Apple's Help
The government officially no longer needs Apple's help unlocking the iPhone that was used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists. The Justice Department says it's successfully retrieved the data from the phone and has filed a document asking the court to vacate its order for Apple's assistance.
"Our decision to conclude the litigation was based solely on the fact that, with the recent assistance of a third party, we are now able to unlock that iPhone without compromising any information on the phone," U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a statement. "Although this step in the investigation is now complete, we will continue to explore every lead, and seek any appropriate legal process, to ensure our investigation collects all of the evidence related to this terrorist attack."
This means it took FBI investigators about a week to test the third-party tool that allowed them to crack the iPhone passcode. The FBI last week said it was approached by an outside third party with a new method that would let the agency get inside the phone without Apple's help.
DOJ spokesperson Melanie Newman said the FBI is currently reviewing the information on the phone, consistent with standard investigatory procedures.
"It remains a priority for the government to ensure that law enforcement can obtain crucial digital information to protect national security and public safety, either with cooperation from relevant parties, or through the court system when cooperation fails," Newman said. "We will continue to pursue all available options for this mission, including seeking the cooperation of manufacturers and relying upon the creativity of both the public and private sectors."