Yesterday, a federal court ruled that FBI does not have to reveal any details on how the hack occurred to get access to iPhone 5C of the mass shooter Syed Farook, according to ZDNet. It’s been long rumored that FBI used outside sources to gain access to the iPhone 5C to look for evidence. This action and the device came under heavy national controversy and legal standoff when Apple refused to help the FBI gain access to the iPhone 5C.
Federal judge Tanya Chutkan, in her ruling issued Saturday, stated that the risk revealing such information could pose a threat to the vendor, which doesn’t have the same protections as the FBI and could potentially become a target of high-profile attacks.
“It is logical and plausible that the vendor may be less capable than the FBI of protecting its proprietary information in the face of a cyberattack,” the court said. “The FBI’s conclusion that releasing the name of the vendor to the general public could put the vendor’s systems, and thereby crucial information about the technology, at risk of incursion is a reasonable one.”
Originally, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Apple to force the company to open a backdoor on the iPhone 5C by creating a special version of iOS. Apple fought back and stated that it will not create such a tool because it posed a risk to its entire user base. Soon after, the government withdrew the case when a third-party vendor secretly demonstrated to the FBI that there is a workable way to bypass iPhone’s security system.
To gain access to the details on the hacking method, three news organizations — Associated Press, Vice News, and USA Today — filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in September 2016. The lawsuit was seeking information that would be of great deal importance in public interest and security researchers around the globe.