FBI's iPhone Hack Works on 'Narrow Slice of Phones': James Comey

52
Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 6:43 PM

The FBI director made the remarks during an address at Kenyon College in OH on Wednesday evening.

FBI's iPhone Hack Works on 'Narrow Slice of Phones': James Comey

The tool used to obtain data from San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook'south iPhone likely only works on a "narrow slice of phones," and nearly certainly doesn't work on the iPhone 5S or six, FBI chief James Comey said.

The FBI director made the remarks during an address at Kenyon College in OH on Wednesday evening. The federal law enforcement agency was locked in a Ct battle with Apple to crack the iPhone 5C running iOS nine used by Farook until an unidentified third-party came forward with a technique the FBI used to get data from the device.

"Someone exterior the government, in response to that attention, came up with a solution, one that I'm confident will be closely protected and used lawfully and appropriately," Comey said, adding that the government "purchased" the tool. Apple has so distant not been told by the government how it managed to obtain past the iPhone'south safeguards, leaving the company with a very public hole in its security.

Federal agencies do have a non-binding process used when reviewing whether or not a newly discovered security flaw should be revealed to technology companies. Intelligence agencies, criminals, and hackers all cost these so-called "zero days" for the access they can allow to software and devices.

"We're having discussions within the government about, OK, so should we tell Apple what the flaw is that was found. That'south an fascinating conversation, because we tell Apple, they're going to fix it, and then we're back where we started from," Comey said.

"As foolish as that may sound, we may finish up there, we just haven't decided yet."

"If we determine not to disclose it to Apple, it'south still quite perishable and it'll disappear if Apple changes its software in some way," Comey said of the technique in response to a question. "It will also disappear if we utilize it in a criminal case and then it's to be disclosed."

While the government'south case against Apple in CA was dropped at the finish of March, the discussion around encryption and security has continued. A spokesman for Senator Dianne Feinstein confirmed to NBC News on Wednesday that the lawmaker had received a briefing on the FBI'south technique, but didn't allow any other details.

Feinstein and Senator Richard Burr are expected to introduce an encryption bill as soon as this week. The favorite messaging service WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook and has one billion users worldwide, enacted "end-to-end" encryption on Tuesday, meaning that only the sender and a receiver of a message can look what's said.

Comey has been at the head of a grouping of law enforcement executive that's raised concerns about criminals and terrorists using encryption and other technology to "go shadowy" — a position that's been criticized by technologists and privacy advocates.

"What if law enforcement had a phone owned by somebody that abducted your sister? Or a phone used by a suicide bomber who blew up the train Sta in your residence town?" Comey said on Wednesday.

"There is number such thing as absolute privacy in America."

READ ALSO
Nest to Disable Revolv Hub, Mulls Paying Back Users

Nest to Disable Revolv Hub, Mulls Paying Back Users

After this week'south announcement that the Revolv bright residence hub will soon be disabled, Alphabet-owned Nest says it'south working to compensate customers who've been using the system.

83
Pentagon: U. S. May Set Up More Tiny Outposts in Iraq

Pentagon: U. S. May Set Up More Tiny Outposts in Iraq

Rear. Adm. Andrew Lewis, the vice director for operations, said there may be situations where the U.

74
Brussels Bombing: New Video Released Showing 'Man in White'

Brussels Bombing: New Video Released Showing 'Man in White'

Prosecutors in Belgium confirmed that the unidentified man was still on the running and said he ditched his light-colored jacket in the minutes after the bombing.

72
three hundred Cement Workers Kidnapped by ISIS: Syrian State TV

three hundred Cement Workers Kidnapped by ISIS: Syrian State TV

The workers and contractors of the Al Badia Cement company were taken from close the town of Dumeir and their employer had lost all contact with them, state TV quoted the industry ministry as saying.

76