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
17 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
18 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
18 months ago
This is why you should keep the USB Accessories settings off.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
18 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
17 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
18 months ago
I hope criminals get caught.
I hope Apple wins this privacy battle.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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