image: Kārlis Dambrāns

FBI may keep secret the name of vendor that cracked terrorist’s iPhone

October 2, 2017

A federal judge ruled Saturday that the FBI does not have to disclose the name of the vendor and how much it was paid by the government for a hacking tool that unlocked the iPhone of a terrorist behind the San Bernardino, California, attacks that left 14 people dead.

The development of the unlocking tool ended what was one of the biggest legal showdowns in the technology space, one in which Apple was fighting a judge’s order last year to provide the FBI with software to enable investigators to unlock the iPhone 5C of Syed Rizwan Farook. Farook was one of two shooters behind the December, 2015 attack at a San Bernardino County facility that left him—and wife Tashfeen Malik—dead. Apple had argued that the law didn’t require it to create software, or a “backdoor,” to enable the government to unlock its customers’ encrypted devices.

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