The FBI logo is seen through an iPhone camera at the bureau's headquarters in Washington, D.C
The FBI logo is seen through an iPhone camera at the bureau's headquarters in Washington, D.C

FBI reportedly working with Israel's Cellebrite to unlock San Bernadino iPhone

Cellebrite is reportedly the 'non-governmental third party' which may have found a way to gain access to the iPhone

Doug Bolton
Thursday 24 March 2016 16:04
Comments

Cellebrite, an Israeli mobile forensics firm, is reportedly the company helping the FBI break into the iPhone used by one of the San Bernadino attackers.

If Cellebrite succeeds in cracking the iPhone, the FBI would no longer need Apple's co-operation, possibly bringing the ongoing legal battle between the two parties to a close.

As reported by Israeli paper Yedioth Ahronoth, who cited industry experts familiar with the case, Cellebrite is allegedly the “non-governmental third party” referenced by prosecutors who have come up with a method which could possibly gain access to the locked phone.

As Reuters reports, on Monday a federal judge agreed to the government's request to postpone a Tuesday court hearing after learning of the third party's solution, possibly so it could be tested.

In the aftermath of the December 2015 San Bernadino attacks, in which 16 people (including the attackers) were killed and 24 injured, the FBI uncovered an iPhone 5C which was owned by one of the two shooters.

Suspecting it to contain information which could help their investigations, the FBI asked Apple to help break into the phone, which is protected with a passcode lock.

Apple have refused, due to security and privacy concerns, and are currently involved in a court case with the government over whether they have to unlock the phone.

Cellebrite focuses on two main areas of business - a forensics system used by police, military and intelligence organisations to retrieve data hidden inside mobile devices, and technology for mobile retailers.

The company has helped out law enforcement in investigations in the past - their products have been used to uncover digital evidence which brought a number of criminals to justice, including a network of online sexual extortionists based in the Phillipines.

The FBI and Cellebrite declined to comment on the matter.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in