FBI director: We bought 'a tool' to hack terrorist'south iPhone

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 12:54 PM

FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday that the government had purchased "a tool" from a private party in order to unlock the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

FBI director: We bought 'a tool' to hack terrorist'south iPhone

FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday that the government had purchased "a tool" from a private party in order to unlock the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

"Litigation between the government and Apple over the San Bernardino phone has ended, because the government has purchased, from a private party, a way to obtain into that phone, 5C, running iOS nine," Comey said.

Law enforcement executive revealed in late March that they'd finally cracked the iPhone used by Syed Farook, one of two shooters in the December two thousand fifteen attack that left fourteen people dead. But they didn't go into details, other than to declare an unnamed third party had provided assistance.

In an effort to access information stored on his phone, the government had pursued valid action in order to force Apple to assistance bypass the phone'south security features.

Related: FBI says it's cracked terrorist'south iPhone without Apple'south help

Apple (AAPL, Tech30) declined to assist, saying that to do so would compromise the security of all iPhone users. The company argued that law enforcement executive didn't realize the consequences of creating a backdoor into the phone.

After the case was dropped, speculation swirled as reporters and analysts tried to identify the third party that helped the government unlock the phone.

Comey revealed extra information about the source of the tool Wednesday.

"The people we bought this from, I know a objective quantity about them, and I've a high degree of confidence that they're very excellent at protecting it, and their motivations align with ours," he said.

Related: Will FBI have to tell Apple how it hacked terrorist'south iPhone

The FBI director also said the purchased tool worked only on a "narrow slice of phones" that doesn't comprise the newest Apple models, or the 5S.

Comey said the government was currently considering whether to tell Apple how it pulled off the hack.

"We tell Apple, then they're going to fix it, then we're back where we started from," he said. "We may finish up there, we just haven't decided yet."

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