FBI Plans to Keep iPhone Hacking Method Secret [Update: Confirmed]

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation will keep the method that it used to hack into the iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook a secret, reports The Wall Street Journal. Citing sources with knowledge of the FBI's plans, the report suggests the FBI will tell the White House that an internal government review does not make sense because it "knows so little" about the hacking tool that was employed.

    A government review under the U.S. Vulnerabilities Equities Process, which allows federal agencies to determine whether or not critical security flaws should be shared with companies, would potentially lead to an order to disclose the security vulnerability to Apple. Without a review, Apple may not find out how the iPhone was breached.

    The Wall Street Journal's report comes following a statement made by FBI Director James Comey at a cybersecurity event in Washington D.C., which was shared by Reuters. According to Comey, the FBI is still in the process of determining whether or not a government review should move forward.
    Sources that spoke to Reuters say the Vulnerabilities Equities Process is not set up to handle flaws that are discovered and owned by private companies, with Comey's statement suggesting the FBI does not own the method used to hack the iPhone.

    To break into Farook's iPhone 5c, the FBI employed the help of "professional hackers," paying upwards of $1.3 million for a tool exploiting a security vulnerability. While Apple would like details on the flaw so a fix can be implemented, the FBI can keep using the vulnerability so long as it remains unpatched.

    The FBI has said the method used to break into the iPhone 5c does not work on the iPhone 5s and later, but it can be used to access iPhone 5c devices running iOS 9.

    Update 4/27: In a statement shared by The New York Times, the FBI has confirmed that it will not give Apple details on the hacking method used to break into the iPhone.
    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: FBI Plans to Keep iPhone Hacking Method Secret [Update: Confirmed]
  2. jmh600cbr macrumors 6502a


    Feb 14, 2012
    Fbi is a joke. They try to make a point and it means nothing. Salut
  3. ZacNicholson macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2011
    Keep spending our tax money on useless sh.t
  4. MyMacintosh macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2012
    precedence. People were saying this is precedence. Nobody thought they were being serious, now its coming to fruition.
  5. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Terrorist: "Doesn't work on the new iPhone, eh? Time for an upgrade."
  6. rdlink macrumors 68040


    Nov 10, 2007
    Out of the Reach of the FBI
    Their plans will fail. The hack will become public at some point.
  7. goobot macrumors 603


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    It doesn't matter, A7 and up isn't vulnerable anyway.
  8. Gix1k macrumors 68030


    Jun 16, 2008
    Had Apple helped, they'd always know where the hole was and could do things to patch it. Now all they know is there's a hole in the ecosystem and no telling if it'll ever be revealed until there's another "fappening" times 10

    You don't believe that....
  9. Pbrutto macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2015
    Eastern PA
    I am so surprised I tripped over my 2016 sky lake rMBP
  10. Mike MA, Apr 26, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016

    Mike MA macrumors 68000

    Mike MA

    Sep 21, 2012
    Well, after the Paris terrorism attacks a cell phone of one of the terrorists was found and helped to identify some others persons involved. So it basically was worth trying. I'm not judging the legal aspect though.
  11. imwoblin macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2007
    I see they are following the playbook once again.
    Rule Number One; Do as I say, not as I do...
  12. macintologist macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2004
    I don't really mind, I think it's a good compromise. Apple doesn't have to break their own encryption, this is the FBI's job.
  13. WissMAN macrumors regular


    Jun 19, 2009
    Lone Star state
    No surprise that the FBI won't share what they have learned on how to hack an iPhone. But don't be surprised, when Apple builds a new OS which they themselves can't figure way to hack.

    I think the whole thing was mishandled from the beginning.
  14. ctdonath macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    I don't understand why so many people think the "hack" is so trivial and easily shared. This is something which a professional computer forensic service demanded a million dollars for, and presumably needed the better part of it to perform. The general concept/weakness was suspected by many engineers for a long time, and not done precisely because if the high cost & effort & specialized hardware required.

    Insofar as the hack only works for a particular security option on an obsolete model iPhone, Apple has assured & assuredly has corrected the weakness, and requires physical & destructive possession of the device, unlikely that anyone would find the hack details useful even if revealed in detail AND had the significant funds necessary.
  15. kch50428, Apr 26, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016

    kch50428 macrumors 6502


    Oct 30, 2015
    North Iowa
    The FBI will keep it secret... the same FBI from an administration that said we could keep our doctors and health care plans... look how well that worked...
  16. SeaFox macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2003
    Somewhere Else
    Nobody's buying iPhone 5c's anymore. The models after that all have better security tech. Who cares?
  17. Thunderhawks Suspended

    Feb 17, 2009
    I like comedy as much as the next guy, but it's time to let this show end and move on.
  18. CFreymarc Suspended

    Sep 4, 2009
    DefCon this summer will be a blast for sure. Supposedly the compromise was done via a hardware modification. The hack labs will be a blast.
  19. usarioclave macrumors 65816

    Sep 26, 2003
    Shhh...it's a sekrit!

    Plus we paid like over a million bucks for it. We can't just give it away, it's in our contract.
  20. MacDarcy macrumors 65816

    Jul 21, 2011
    Apple will find that FBI backdoor and close it tighter than a frog's water tight ass.
  21. fitshaced macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2011
    Translation: we realised that all we had to do was swipe to the right. There was no passcode.
  22. dannyyankou macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2012
    Anything before the 5s is pretty much obsolete anyway.

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