FBI Won’t Be Able To Hack Into iPhones For Much Longer, Say Apple Engineers
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty
The FBI’s secret method for breaking into iPhones will soon be blocked — once Apple fixes the security flaw, experts say.
Once Apple engineers identify the security loophole that allowed the U.S enforcement agency to hack into a locked iPhone 5c, the tech firm will be able to fix the encryption hole, its engineers say.
Last week, the FBI dropped its legal request for Apple to hack into the iPhone belonging to San Bernardino killer Syed Farook, after the agency managed to crack the handset’s security without Apple’s help.
Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were shot dead after killing 14 people in San Bernardino in California in December 2015.
The FBI has since offered to unlock an iPhone for a local police force investigating a murder case, and is likely to carry on unlocking handsets while it can.
If the FBI continues to help local police forces to unlock iPhones, it could soon be forced to reveal its methods under cross-examination in court.
An unidentified third party reportedly helped the FBI in unlock the Farook’s iPhone.
This raises concerns that the third party could sell the technique to hackers.
It’s likely that the FBI will only be able to use the hacking method for a short time before Apple fixes the security hole.