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Radio News: Hackers cracked terrorists' phone for FBI

Apr 13, 2016 9:45 pm
The Washington Post reported April 12 that hackers the FBI hired opened the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone, ending the recent court standoff between Apple and the Justice Department. Hackers discovered a previously unknown software flaw, allowing the FBI to create hardware to crack the iPhone’s password without erasing all the data on the phone. Disabling a feature on the phone that erases data after 10 incorrect guesses at the code. A few reports earlier claimed the Israeli firm Cellebrite solved the phone, but The Washington Post story says that was not true. Cellebrite is developing a thumb drive-sized device for police to plug into phones at car accident scenes to tell if drivers were texting at the time of the crash. The U.S. government has not said whether information about the flaw will be shared with Apple. The computer company said last week that it would not sue the government for the solution. Previously, White House staff have spoken positively about disclosing computer flaws. “When we discover these vulnerabilities, there’s a very strong bias towards disclosure,” White House cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel said in an October 2014 interview, not about the Apple case. “That’s for a good reason. If you had to pick the economy and the government that is most dependent on a digital infrastructure, that would be the United States.” Read the full story in The Washington Post.