Epic fight between the FBI and Apple over a locked iPhone is now over, but a central question in the case has remained unanswered: What secrets did the phone, used by one of the attackers in the San Bernardino, Calif., rampage, actually hold?
According to The New York Times, the FBI is saying only this much publicly: It has obtained data from the phone and is putting it to use.
Exactly, what happened? Check below….
The effort to crack the security of the iPhone 5C tied to Farook, one of the shooters in December’s San Bernardino, California, terrorist attack, ignited a dramatic showdown between the FBI and Apple. After more than a month of public posturing and legal maneuvering, begun with Apple’s defiance of a court order, the confrontation effectively ended when the law enforcement agency found a third party that was able to unlock the phone. The case opened a widespread debate over the pros and cons of encryption, the technology that scrambles data so it can only be read only by people with the right access, and its role in the balance between personal privacy and national security. Apple worried about creating a “backdoor” that could be used on millions of devices.
The FBI, getting access to the iPhone was all about defeating terrorism.
“It was worth the fight to make sure that we have turned over every rock that we can with respect to the investigation,” Baker said, according to source.
The FBI has not revealed to Apple the method used to unlock the iPhone, Baker said. And he wouldn’t say for sure whether any data found on the phone would be shared with the public, stating only that “if and when it becomes appropriate to disclose it, we will.”
The only person charged criminally so far in connection with the attack is Enrique Marquez, a friend and former neighbor accused of providing the couple with the assault weapons used in the attack, and of conspiring with Mr. Farook in an earlier, unexecuted plot. The F.B.I. has executed search warrants at the homes of the attackers’ family members, but no relatives have been charged.
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F.B.I. officials have been talking with Apple executives about the issue since they unlocked the phone, Mr. Baker said. But he added that “we have not shared the solution with Apple to date.”
Mr. Baker would not say for certain whether the content would be made public.
“If and when it becomes appropriate to disclose it, we will,” he said.
After Apple fought against the FBI to force it to help unlock the phone, FBI paid the outside firm an undisclosed amount to demonstrate for its investigators how to get around two defensive mechanisms that had kept them out.
Seriously hacked? ohh….