A detailed new report of ZDNet says that the 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 the cyber attack is considered. The FBI reasonably concluded that releasing the information to the general public may risk the vendor’s systems. This would further jeopardize important info on the technology.
Many believe that the 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 an 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 it could be $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 the FBI’s attributes over accessing encrypted devices.
On the other hand, Apple went through a confrontation with the FBI, saying that the company did not have the technology to help unlock the phone. Tim Cook stated that the iPhone had turned into a “software equivalent to cancer.” Apple kept on staying firm on its decision not to help the FBI with 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.