The legal battle between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Apple has taken a drastic turn, as it turns out the FBI have accessed an iPhone 5c without Apple’s assistance after all.
According to a filing released today, the Department of Justice has officially withdrawn its legal action against Apple, which saw the DOJ trying to force Apple to create a specialized version of iOS to access an iPhone 5c used by one of the shooters at the San Bernardino event in 2015. The reason for the withdrawal is that the FBI has accessed the shooter’s iPhone — without the need of Apple’s assistance.
This follows on the heels of the DOJ announcing that it had “discovered a method” to unlock the iPhone in question without Apple’s help, and, as such, had vacated the the federal hearing against Apple and the FBI as a result.
According to the filing, the FBI, “successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone and no longer requires the assistance from Apple.”
As to the method that the FBI used to access the iPhone, that’s unknown at this time. What is also unknown: What the FBI and DOJ discovered on the iPhone, if anything.
So, for now, this specific ordeal has come to an end, but considering how broad the issue was, it’s likely to crop up yet again.