FBI not submitting San Bernadino iPhone hack for peer review

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Date: Thursday, April 28th, 2016, 08:50
Category: Hack, iPhone, Legal, News, security


The FBI is keeping the San Bernadino iPhone hack technique to itself for the time being.

A recent report has stated that the FBI will not be submitting the exploit used to break into the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook to a review process that could clear it for sharing with outside parties.

The FBI, which used a third party to unlock the iPhone, apparently didn’t acquire the rights to the technical details used in the hack, according to Amy Hess, the FBI’s executive assistant director for science and technology. As a result, Hess said the agency doesn’t “have enough technical information about any vulnerability” that could be considered for release.

On Wednesday, FBI director James Comey said that the agency was still deciding whether it could submit the exploit. The review group, associated with the White House, exists to decide whether cybersecurity flaws uncovered by U.S. government agencies should be shared with entities like corporations or even other internal organizations.

It’s currently unknown as to exactly how the FBI was able to unlock the encrypted handset, rumors varying between Israeli security firm Cellebrite being called in while others say a hacker group was paid more than $1 million for a zero-day exploit to unlock the handset.

Finally, the hack itself may be on its way out due to changes in forthcoming technologies. Farook owned an iPhone 5c, one of the last major iOS devices without Touch ID. Products with that technology are believed to be immune to the technique the FBI employed, thanks to their Secure Enclaves.

As always, stay tune for additional details as they become available.

Via AppleInsider and Reuters

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