A detailed new report of ZDNet says that FBI does not need to disclose how they unlocked the iPhone of the San Bernardino terrorist. It is a decision by the court after a few leading news media filed a ‘Freedom for Information’ lawsuit.
Federal judge Tanya Chutkan said that revealing the tool and price would “amount to putting a target on its back.” As per the court, the vendor is less capable than the FBI in protecting information as far as cyber attack is considered. The FBI reasonably concluded that releasing the information to the general public may put the vendor’s systems at risk. This would further jeopardize important info on the technology.
Many believe that FBI took the help of Cellebrite, the Israeli mobile forensics firm, for the iPhone unlocking. Used by the demised Syed Farook in the San Bernardino attack, the phone is iPhone 5c. However, the details on the process of the unlocking haven’t seen the daylight either.
As long as speculations go, it is apparent that the FBI paid quite a lump sum for the unlocking. Some reports claim that it could be either $15,000 or $1 million. This weekend, the court said that disclosing the price would ‘designate a finite value’ for the technological process. It could even lead adversaries to determine the nature of FBI’s attributes over accessing encrypted devices.
On the other hand, Apple went through a confrontation with FBI, saying that company did not have the technology to help unlock the phone. Tim Cook stated that the iPhone had turned to a “software equivalent to cancer.” Apple kept on staying firm on its decision of not helping the FBI for the case.
The ruling of the court is more likely to finally put the matter to rest. Having said that, it is unclear this far if the debates regarding the San Bernardino case would stop.