FBI Has Still Not Managed to Unlock iPhone Used by Mass Shooter in Florida Last Year

FBI officials have still not managed to unlock a passcode-protected iPhone that investigators believe was owned by Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, the perpetrator of a mass shooting at a Naval Air Station in Florida in December.


The disclosure was made by FBI director Christopher Wray at a House Judiciary Committee hearing today, according to Bloomberg. Wray told Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) that the FBI is "currently engaged with Apple hoping to see if we can get better help from them so we can get access to that phone," the report claims.

Last month, the FBI asked Apple for its assistance with unlocking the iPhone in a letter sent to the company's chief lawyer Katherine Adams.

U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr have called on Apple to assist the FBI with accessing data on the iPhone, but the company previously said that it has given investigators "all of the data in our possession" and said it "will continue to support them with the data we have available."

In a follow-up statement, Apple said that while it was "devastated to learn of the tragic terrorist attack" at the Naval Air Station, creating a backdoor into iOS would threaten national security in the United States:

We have always maintained there is no such thing as a backdoor just for the good guys. Backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers. Today, law enforcement has access to more data than ever before in history, so Americans do not have to choose between weakening encryption and solving investigations. We feel strongly encryption is vital to protecting our country and our users' data.

Apple faced a similar situation in 2016, when a U.S. federal judge ordered the company to help the FBI unlock an iPhone owned by Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the December 2015 attacks in San Bernardino, California. Apple opposed the order, noting that it would set a "dangerous precedent."

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

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27 weeks ago
Good. You shouldn't.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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27 weeks ago


Using 10 alphanumeric.

same, and my wife still gets in =/

FBI, hire that woman!
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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27 weeks ago
Once again this has little to do with one individual phone, and everything to do with being able to gain access to any device on the planet without proper authority. Anyone who thinks otherwise is sleepwalking into a dystopian nightmare.

They just want to keep this story alive in order to wring further public support from the naive and impressionable.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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27 weeks ago
Politics aside, Apple’s security measures are pretty darn good, I’d say. This basically proves it, at least with iPhones.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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27 weeks ago
If I understand correctly, Apple now has things in the boot software to the point where Apple cannot get in - they simply don't have access to the key stored in the Secure Enclave. As such, asking for help getting in seems disingenuous, as it's really looking for help getting into the theoretical next phone, by putting backdoors in the software. And that is something that we cannot let them do - down that path lies madness.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 weeks ago
Your U.S. tax dollars hard at work.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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