After weeks of back-and-forth between Apple and the FBI, over the possible moral repercussions that a "GovtOS" would have on iPhone users' privacy, the Justice Department officially dropped its lawsuit against Apple in late March.
In the court-filed motion to vacate the order for Apple's help, the FBI stated it had discovered its own process of entry into the password-protected iPhone. Rumors initially suggested the FBI was helped by Israeli mobile forensics firm Cellebrite, but more recent reports pointed to the bureau's hiring of professional hackers to help crack the smartphone.
Much of the discussion surrounding the case has centered around the method the FBI used to unlock the iPhone 5c in question, but a report from yesterday confirmed that the bureau has no legal ground to reveal the exploit to anyone, including Apple. The unidentified group assisting the FBI has sole legal ownership of the method in which it used to enter the device, which could not be divulged without their cooperation with the FBI.
A few sources within the government even stated that the FBI might not know the details of the exploit, only that it has worked. According to the new report from CBS News, those close to the investigation have stressed that the FBI is continuing to analyze the data coming out of the iPhone 5c in the search for information related to the December terrorist attacks.
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