FBI Successfully Unlocks iPhone 11 Pro in Ohio, Casting Doubt on Claims it Needs Apple's Help in Florida Mass Shooter Case

New questions have been raised about the FBI's latest request that Apple break its iPhone encryption, after Forbes uncovered a search warrant strongly indicating that federal agents already have tools that can access data on Apple's latest ‌iPhone‌ models.

graykey1
The report says that FBI investigators in Ohio recently used the GrayKey hardware box to unlock an iPhone 11 Pro Max. The ‌iPhone‌ belonged to Baris Ali Koch, who was accused of helping his convicted brother flee the country by providing him with his own ID documents and lying to the police. He has now entered a plea agreement and is awaiting sentencing.

Koch's lawyer confirmed to Forbes that the ‌iPhone‌ was locked with a passcode when it got in the hands of the FBI and that the code was never revealed to law enforcement, nor was the defendant forced to use his face to unlock the phone via Face ID.

Created by a company named Grayshift, GrayKey is a portable gray box that has previously been used by law enforcement to crack the passcode on iPhones. Complete details on how the latest GrayKey works are not known, although Apple continually works to fix the kinds of exploits used by such devices.

Ohio FBI search warrant

Forbes has previously revealed a GrayKey brochure that showed it worked on older devices, and the two iPhones acquired by the FBI in the most recent Pensacola case are an ‌iPhone‌ 5 and an ‌iPhone‌ 7, which strongly suggests that investigators are already capable of unlocking them.

President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr have also weighed in on the latest ‌iPhone‌ encryption stalemate between Apple and the FBI, with both urging the tech giant to assist in unlocking the iPhones used by the Pensacola shooter.

Justice department officials claim to need access to the iPhones to see messages from encrypted apps like Signal or WhatsApp to find out if the shooter discussed his plans or had help. Apple says it has already provided law enforcement officials with information from the shooter's iCloud account, which amounts to all the data in its possession.

Statements by Apple suggest it is gearing up for a battle similar to the one it faced in 2016 in the San Bernardino shooter case, indicating the company has no plans to create a backdoor in its software, regardless of the U.S. government's motives. Apple has previously said that doing so would create "new and dangerous weaknesses" and that weakening security "makes no sense."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Grey Area Avatar
15 months ago

A lot of people want Apple to tighten up security.

okay. Let some catastrophe happen to you or your family done by some POS dirt bag and the answer to said calamity is sitting inside their iPhone. You would be rioting for Apple to give the fbi a backdoor access to that phone, so stop it. It’s not a problem because it’s not happening to you.


1) You have no clue how those pro-security people would react in your scenario. Calling them hypocrites for a reaction that you made up and projected onto them is rather dubious.

2) It is very easy to turn your scenario around. Some POS dirtbag uses the backdoor to access the phones of you or your family members, stealing money, or stealing private pictures to blackmail your loved ones, committing identity theft in order to do all sorts of shenanigans in your name... It would be easy to say, "You would be rioting for Apple to tighten security, you hypocrite!" Maybe you wouldn't, but that's about as believable as your scenario.
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jim Lahey Avatar
15 months ago

Or Apple helped but don't want you to know.
Or, what the hell have people got on their phones that is so precious hence all the handbag clutching that happens every time some low life is investigated.
Grow up and help the powers of law and order and stop creating self obsessed dramas at every opportunity.
"I don't think it's anybody's business what I own."

So, according to your signature, the number and type of devices you own is a private matter, but you’d be happy turning them over to me unlocked for a couple of hours each because you have nothing to hide.

lol.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
martyjmclean Avatar
15 months ago
This is why you should keep the USB Accessories settings off.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
15 months ago
What? Trump and Barr lying as if the truth has no meaning? Can it possibly be?

Yeah, sounds about right.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jim Lahey Avatar
15 months ago

A lot of people want Apple to tighten up security.

okay. Let some catastrophe happen to you or your family done by some POS dirt bag and the answer to said calamity is sitting inside their iPhone. You would be rioting for Apple to give the fbi a backdoor access to that phone, so stop it. It’s not a problem because it’s not happening to you.

This might be why victims don’t get to write laws or pass sentencing on those that break them. Just a guess.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NufSaid Avatar
15 months ago
I hope criminals get caught.
I hope Apple wins this privacy battle.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
steam apple logo

Valve Ordered to Give Apple Information on 436 Steam Games As Part of Epic Games Legal Case

Thursday February 25, 2021 1:50 am PST by
Valve, the makers behind popular game distribution platform Steam, will be forced to hand over aggregate historical sales, price, and other information on 436 games hosted on the store to Apple, as part of the Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust case. As reported in a paywalled report by Law360, during a virtual discovery hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that...
apple store macarthur center

Apple Store at MacArthur Center in Virginia Permanently Closing Following Years of Safety Issues at Shopping Mall

Thursday February 25, 2021 4:45 pm PST by
Apple today indicated that its retail store at the MacArthur Center shopping mall in Norfolk, Virginia will be permanently closing after over 14 years of business, although an exact closure date has yet to be announced by the company. Apple has assured that it will be offering all employees at the store other positions within Apple, and said that it looks forward to continuing to serve...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
apple refurbished m1 mac mini

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished M1 Mac Mini

Thursday February 25, 2021 6:42 pm PST by
Apple today began selling certified refurbished Mac mini models with the M1 chip for the first time in the United States and Canada, with prices discounted by approximately 15 percent compared to brand new models as usual. For example, a refurbished Mac mini with the M1 chip, 256GB of SSD storage, and 16GB of unified memory is available for $759, compared to $899 brand new. Other custom...
qualcomm snapdragon x60 5g

iPhone 13 Lineup Expected to Use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 Modem With Several 5G Improvements

Wednesday February 24, 2021 8:10 am PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 13 lineup will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 5G modem, with Samsung to handle manufacturing of the chip, according to DigiTimes. Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to the 7nm-based Snapdragon X55 modem used in iPhone 12 models, which could contribute to longer battery life. With the X60 modem, iPhone...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...