5 years ago, Apple refused to hack an iPhone for the FBI. Only now it became known who did it and how.

In December 2015, a Pakistani couple shot 14 people in San Bernardino, California. The terrorists were killed by the police, and the FBI asked Apple to jailbreak their iPhone, but it was refused.

The American secret services could not independently hack the iPhone 5c, in whose memory there could be evidence. Login to the system was protected by a PIN-code, and after 10 unsuccessful attempts to guess the code, the data was erased.

Apple justified the refusal by saying that the hack would pose a threat to the safety of other users, and that it violates the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which protects free speech, as the company would be forced to speak out about how to hack their device. Tim Cook also said that the FBI had asked Apple to add a backdoor to iOS, allowing them to retrieve information from iPhones in the future, and the company could not do that.

The FBI tried to force Apple to hack the terrorists’ smartphone through a court, but in March 2016 withdrew the lawsuit. It turned out that someone helped the agency with a break-in, having received about a million US dollars for this service. No valuable information was found on the device.


Until now, it was believed that the hack was carried out by the Israeli company Cellebrite, which since 2013 has provided Apple with hardware and software to extract data from blocked mobile devices. Five years later, he Washington Post published investigation and named the real cracker – this is the hacker company Azimuth Security from Australia.

The hacking was carried out by two hackers – the founder of Azimuth Security, Mark Dowd, and the owner of the prestigious Pwnie Award, David Wang. Dowd found a vulnerability in Mozilla’s open source code that was used to connect accessories to the iPhone’s Lightning connector. He wrote a script that iterates through all the PIN-code variants with a bypass of the restriction, because of which all data would be erased after ten incorrect login attempts. Before hacking the terrorist’s device, this script was tested on a dozen iPhones 5c. The FBI paid a million dollars to Azimuth Security right after the terrorist’s smartphone was successfully hacked. His iPhone was unlocked, and the FBI were able to examine all the information stored in it, including photos and correspondence. About two months later, Mozilla discovered and closed a vulnerability in its product, without even realizing that it was used to hack an iPhone commissioned by the FBI.

It is noteworthy that Apple all this time also did not know who had jailbroken that iPhone. She came close to solving it in 2019 when she filed a lawsuit against Corellium, accusing it of copyright infringement. Then it turned out that one of the contractors of Corellium was Azimuth Security. During the trial, Apple’s lawyers asked Azimuth Security employees if they knew of any vulnerabilities in Apple products.

Source: iGuides.ru by www.iguides.ru.

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