FBI Reportedly Gained Access to iPhone Used by Mass Shooter in Florida After Apple Refused to Help

FBI officials have somehow managed to unlock at least one of two passcode-protected iPhones owned by Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, the perpetrator of a mass shooting at a Naval Air Station in Florida last December, according to CNN.

ios12 iphone x enter passcode
Apple provided the FBI with iCloud data belonging to Alshamrani, but it refused to assist investigators with gaining access to the iPhones. In a statement earlier this year, the company said that while it was "devastated to learn of the tragic terrorist attack" at the Naval Air Station, creating a backdoor into iOS would pose a national security threat.

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.

Alshamrani owned an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 5, according to The New York Times.

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." In that case, the FBI also found a way to access the iPhone, although the method was never publicly disclosed.

Last week, exploit acquisition platform Zerodium announced that it would not be purchasing any iOS exploits for a few months due to a high number of submissions, noting that there are at least a few persistent security vulnerabilities affecting all iPhones and iPads. "Let's hope iOS 14 will be better," said Zerodium CEO Chaouki Bekrar.

Note: Due to the political or social 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

NT1440 Avatar
12 months ago

This is a delicate subject, but someday if we ever have a serious real-time pending catastrophe and the only way to resolve the pending catastrophe is for Apple to "break into" an iPhone and Apple refuses, they will have hell to pay.
The show 24 has truly broken American’s ability to think critically.

The ticking clock scenario is a plot device, not how real life scenarios work.

That aside. With the billions we’ve spent on “national security” you’re telling me that if the massive surveillance apparatus we’ve set up across the entire world fails to stop a plot down to the point where the ONLY way to prevent something is *unlocking an iPhone* it’s APPLE that has something to answer for!?!?
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
imnotthewalrus Avatar
12 months ago
i agree with Apple. Crimes were solved before the iPhone existed. If a ‘backdoor’ was created it would take zero time for it to be exploited for malicious use.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
clayj Avatar
12 months ago
The takeaway: The FBI no longer needs to ask Apple to crack into phones.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
4jasontv Avatar
12 months ago

What is the "Ministry of Truth?"
The Ministry of Truth is the branch of government that is responsible for any necessary falsification of historical events, and redefining language to make previous government statements correct. Government must be absolute. It can not make mistakes or change its mind therefore it must correct perceived variations from what it meant and what it said or did.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Stromos Avatar
12 months ago
So what knowledge did it provide? Oh wait since this whole thing was glanced over you guessed it.... nothing.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
12 months ago

Really? Cellebrite exploits get fixed by Apple after they're revealed. Should law enforcement seeking criminal evidence start with Cellebrite with the possibility the phone could be permanently hosed? Or first ask Apple?

I'd ask Apple first.
Why ask Apple? This is settled. The OS is engineered to not allow for what their asking.

“Asking Apple” is asking them to engineer a backdoor, period.

Cellebrite, amongst literally hundreds of other intelligence-linked firms develop exploits all day every day. Cellebrite in particular then markets their equipment to law enforcement all over the world. An exploit gets patched, they move on to the next.
https://www.cellebrite.com/en/advanced-services/

Apple, as iOS is currently engineered, has no secret method of bypassing iOS security. That’s by design, you can’t compel them to do something they’ve explicitly designed not to happen.

https://www.wired.com/story/cellebrite-ufed-ios-12-iphone-hack-android/

MEANWHILE, the FBI is now empowered to look through anyone’s emails AND WEB HISTORY WITHOUT A WARRANT thanks to the extension of the Patriot Act that is passing shortly. So let’s put to bed the notion that this story is anything other than US intelligence agencies trying to manufacture consent to spy on everyone at any time as is their goal.

https://www.businessinsider.com/mcconnell-patriot-act-renewal-fbi-web-browsing-history-2020-5
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
apple event hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for April 20 Apple Event Goes Live

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:21 pm PDT by
Following the overnight Siri leak and subsequent announcement that Apple will hold a media event on Tuesday, April 20, a new Twitter hashflag has appeared to help provide visibility for the event on the platform. For the last several recent events, Apple has utilized hashflags, which are little icons next to hashtags on Twitter, as a way to market its events. The company first started the...
iphone12cameras

Kuo: 2022 iPhones to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, 8K Video, and 6.1 and 6.7" Sizes With No 5.4" Mini Option

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:45 pm PDT by
The upcoming 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1-inch devices and two 6.7-inch devices, with no mini-sized 5.4-inch iPhone, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Two of the iPhones will be high-end models and two of the iPhones will be lower-end models, similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup. Apple introduced the 5.4-inch...
macos catalina serial number

Apple Preparing Rollout of New Randomized Product Serial Numbers Ahead of 'Spring Loaded' Event

Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is advising its authorized premium resellers and dealers to prepare for new products with 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, days ahead of when it's expected to reveal a slew of new products. MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021. The company now seems to be preparing for that roll-out, telling...
duanrui iphone13 notch samples

More Leaked iPhone 13 Samples Show Smaller Notch, Repositioned Earpiece and Front Camera

Wednesday April 14, 2021 1:06 am PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has today shared an image of two iPhone 13 "film samples," which show the same rumored smaller notch design coming to the iPhone 13 series that we've seen from other sources. In past tweets, DuanRui has accurately leaked the correct names of the iPhone 12 models and an iPad Air 4 manual revealing its new design, so there's good reason to think this leak is credible, ...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
iPad Pro Mini LED

Mini-LED iPad Pro Expected at Apple Event on April 20 as Production Ramps Up

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:53 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be hosting a virtual event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, and one of the new products expected to be unveiled at the event is a new iPad Pro with a Mini-LED display. In a brief snippet shared with paid subscribers, Taiwanese supply chain news website DigiTimes today reported that Apple supplier Ennostar has substantially improved its yield...
apple event particularly innovative article

Gurman: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Won't Feature Anything 'Particularly Innovative'

Thursday April 15, 2021 1:30 am PDT by
Bloomberg's highly-respected Mark Gurman says that he expects nothing "particularly innovative" or "extraordinary" to launch at Apple's "Spring Loaded" event next week, Tuesday, April 20. Gurman made the remarks during an interview for Bloomberg Technology, in which he reaffirmed that Apple will launch a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the higher-end model featuring a brand new...
spotify car thing 1

Spotify Announces the 'Car Thing' as its First Hardware Device

Tuesday April 13, 2021 7:03 am PDT by
Spotify has today announced its first hardware device, the "Car Thing," which is an in-car dash-mounted music and podcast player (via TechCrunch). Spotify is looking to provide a product for customers who want a "more seamless" and personalized in-car listening experience, especially in the large number of cars that do not support modern in-car infotainment systems. The Car Thing is aimed ...