FBI is still mulling on whether to reveal the method that they used in opening the iPhone involved in the San Bernardino case. The agency director, James Comey said the agency was still to figure out if the method was even going to be reviewed for possible disclosure.
Talking to an audience at Georgetown University, the director said the agency was in the midst of trying to sort that out. He also explained that naturally, the White House group that is responsible for reviewing all the security methods and their exploits would rather decide whether or not to reveal the method to the public. He did, however, explain that the Syed Farook’s iPhone method would probably not qualify to be revealed.
The threshold is, are we aware of the vulnerability,” Comey explained, “or did we just buy a tool and don’t have sufficient knowledge of the vulnerability to implicate the process?”
FBI Used a Third Party Group
The FBI used a third party group to hack into the iPhone of Syed Farook, who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, last December. The agency apparently paid around $1.34 million to the third party, which has largely remained a secret at the moment, but most analysts believe it was dedicated forensics firm, Cellebrite.
Cellebrite might have simply provided the FBI with software that could be used in the penetration of the iPhone. If the FBI paid for info then they would be liable to spill the secret, but if they used private technology then they would have to keep it as it is, private.
The technique employed by the FBI is not believed to work on further iOS versions which use Touch. Apple is believed to have asked for details about the method in a bid to block future hacks.