FBI won't reveal iPhone hacking method

Bureau says it paid to unlock phone but not for rights to details about vulnerabilities

FBI won't reveal iPhone hacking method

World Bulletin / News Desk

The FBI will not publically divulge the mechanism used to unlock an iPhone connected to a deadly terror attack in California last December, a bureau spokesman said Wednesday. 

The White House maintains a procedure, called Vulnerabilities Equities Process (VEP), which compels government agencies to share any technology vulnerabilities that could pose a threat to public safety. Critics have charged that the ability to unlock another person’s smartphone would qualify as such a threat.

But Amy Hess, the FBI’s executive assistant director for science and technology, noted that the bureau would not follow the process. 

“The F.B.I. assesses that it cannot submit the method to the VEP,” Hess said in a statement. “The FBI purchased the method from an outside party so that we could unlock the San Bernardino device,” she said referring to the attack that killed 14 victims.

Hess said the bureau paid an outside party to hack an iPhone – the center of a months-long controversy regarding whether the government should be able to infiltrate device encryption. 

Though it paid for the service, the FBI did not pay for the rights to disclose the hacking technique. 

“We did not, however, purchase the rights to technical details about how the method functions, or the nature and extent of any vulnerability upon which the method may rely in order to operate,” Hess said. “As a result, currently we do not have enough technical information about any vulnerability that would permit any meaningful review under the VEP process.”

Also Wednesday, local police announced that the dead body of a man was found in a conference room at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Investigators said that it was an isolated incident. 

“There's nobody else on the campus or in the public that is at risk,” Sgt. Andrea Urena of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office told reporters. 

Apple declined to comment on either Hess’ statement or the death.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Nisan 2016, 09:22