Following a news press conference, the FBI has provided a detailed explanation for their motifs regarding the reset of the San Bernardino’s iPhone iCloud password. It was depicted as a mistake which prevented Apple from getting valuable data from the device using iCloud. In their defense, the FBI claimed that they have done it in cooperation with the county, in order to access the iCloud account of the suspect. And thanks to their mutual efforts they were able to recover the iCloud backups up to the October 19th. Still, the reason on why they are asking Apple to create a backdoor into the iPhone of the suspect (which is locked) is because FBI still thinks there is a lot more valuable data which can contribute for the further unfolding of the case.
However, due to unexplained reasons, there weren’t any backups saved to iCloud after October 19th. There is a possibility that Syed Farook has disabled the backup feature, or the iPhone was not brought back to a known Wi-Fi network whilst being plugged in. And it is yet to see whether a newer iCloud backup would have brought more information to the case.
In one quote from the statement of FBI, thru Re/Code, the bureau has explained that the government asks Apple to create a backdoor which will enable a data extraction procedure on the iPhone to be conducted. This method, which was used in previous investigations, has often turned to be the tide changer because it usually has contains more information than a normal iCloud backup.
Apple has been given prolonged time to reply to FBI’s demands, and the deadline is set to expire next Friday. However, it is widely expected from Apple to formally reject the demand ion court, knowing their hard stance which was expressed in Tim Cook’s open letter the previous week.
In this particular case, the FBI demands from Apple to make a special version of the iPhone’s OS which will remove several Passcode features and will eventually enable the so called” Brute Attack” method to be used to break thru the PIN code. The FBI demands from Apple to create a customized OS which will enable an unlimited attempt of PIN entries to be made, without having to go thru the usual hour-long delays that occur everytime an incorrect password is entered.
The iPhone which the suspect has used is iPhone 5C model and it does not feature a fingerprint sensor and several other security features which were enabled by the Security Enclave of the newer iPhone models. But, Apple’s reply on this was that the same technique which the FBI wants to use can be applied to the newer iPhone models as well.