After news reached the masses that the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iCloud password on the San Bernardino attacker’s iPhone had been changed in FBI custody, the widespread impression was that the FBI had screwed up. Some rogue elements within the agency had tampered with the device, and now the FBI are dependent upon Apple to provide some sort of a solution. However, the latest official statement from FBI suggests something entirely different. According to the law enforcement agency, the iCloud password on the perpetrator’s iPhone was changed on purpose, in order to access the phone’s backup on Apple’s cloud storage service.
The San Bernardino iPhone encryption case between Apple and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been in the headlines of every tech blog, and on the front page of every newspaper lately. The latest statement from FBI suggests an interesting turn of events, in a case which has deeply divided the authorities and the tech industry; unlike any issue before.
In reaction to Apple’s suggestion that the password on the iCloud backup had been changed inadvertently, the FBI has said that the password was changed to access the backup, and information up to October 19 had been extracted already.
However, the authorities believe that the iPhone 5C in question would yield more information apart from what they have already gathered, and it is clear they require Apple’s assistance to extract that data. In the official comments, FBI states that there remains more information on the phone, which the FBI still needs access to, and it has not been uploaded as backup to the iCloud. It is for that information that the authorities went to court to get an order, requesting Apple to assist with the process.
Apple’s stance on the court’s order and the FBI’s demand, is both brave and admirable. As far as the official statement over the password reset is concerned, it looks like the FBI has not found anything so far on the suspect’s iOS device. In desperation, the agency now seeks Apple’s help over what would be a last throw of the dice before coming clean about the whole scenario.