Tags: War on Terrorism | professional | hackers | helped | fbi | crack | terrorist

WashPost: Professional Hackers Helped FBI Crack San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone

Image: WashPost: Professional Hackers Helped FBI Crack San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone
(Wire Services Photo) 

By    |   Tuesday, 12 Apr 2016 09:36 PM

Professional hackers helped the FBI break into the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists, according to a new report.

The Washington Post states a group of hackers found a software flaw, which then allowed the Bureau to employ a piece of new hardware to figure out the phone's four-digit password.

The previous issue with breaking into the phone was a security feature that erases all the phone's data after the wrong code is entered 10 times. The software flaw, coupled with the new tool, gave FBI technicians what they needed — time to figure out the passcode and access what was on the phone.

The hackers were paid a fee for their services, reports the Post. The paper outlines the three types of hackers — white hats, black hats, and gray hats. The former help software firms find flaws in their code, while black hats steal personal information using security flaws.

Gray hats, reports the Post, are researchers who find security flaws and sell the information to governments, surveillance companies, or the black market. At least one of the hackers that helped the FBI, according to the report, came from this group.

Earlier reports suggested an Israeli company called Cellebrite helped the FBI access the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. The Bureau has done business with the firm in the past, and the two parties signed a contract for "Information Technology Software" the same day the FBI dropped a court case against Apple regarding breaking into the phone.

Apple refused to help the FBI access the phone out of privacy concerns. FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday the court battle it waged with Apple was "the hardest problem I've encountered in my entire government career" because of the privacy vs. national security debate it caused.

"I'm glad the litigation is gone," Comey said. "Apple is not a demon; I hope people don't perceive the FBI as a demon."

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Professional hackers helped the FBI break into the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists, according to a new report.
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2016-36-12
Tuesday, 12 Apr 2016 09:36 PM
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