So, did Apple win or lose?

In case you haven’t been paying attention …

The FBI snagged the government-owned cell phone that was being used by one of the San Bernardino killer-terrorists … but, couldn’t get at the data because of Apple’s security and encryption technology … which vaporizes the data if you enter a wrong password 10 times.

So, the FBI asked Apple to to provide a custom-cobbled hack to get at the data.

Apple said “no”, ostensibly to protect the privacy and security of its users.

So, the FBI sued Apple, and the case was working its way through the courts.

That is, until yesterday when the FBI withdrew its law suit.

Victory to Apple, right?



Not so fast.

Here’s why the FBI withdrew its law suit ….


The FBI conducted a tournament of sorts … inviting techo-hackers to do what Apple wouldn’t do: workaround the phone’s security software.

Bingo … a winner.

An outside party — all officials will say is that it’s not a U.S. government agency — demonstrated a technique for getting information from Farook’s phone without permanently destroying it.

And over the Easter weekend, the FBI put it to work and investigators were finally able to go through the phone’s contents.  Source

While the FBI won’t confirm it, Cellebrite, an Israeli company, has been identified in some news accounts as the company that cracked the code and hacked the phone.


The good news: the FBI got the coveted info into the terrorist’s activities.

My take: Apple was a big loser.  Here’s why …

Simply stated: Apple’s precious security codes were broken.

They weren’t so secure after all.

So, if you’re a privacy obsessed user, why trust Apple’s next generation fix?

If I were the FBI, I wouldn’t tell Apple how the hack was carried out.

Let Tim Cook squirm for awhile …

Regardless, baffles me why Apple didn’t help the FBI in “deep background” … hacking the phone, but keeping things hush-hush.

The FBI would have gotten the info that they wanted, and Apple wouldn’t have taken any hit at all.

I don’t think that this story is over.



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2 Responses to “So, did Apple win or lose?”

  1. John Carpenter Says:

    I was appalled by Apple’s decisions in this matter and likewise for the FBI’s but kind of expected it from them. I think Apple is now sitting on the worst of both world’s. Guys like me take them to task for not helping with a terrorist investigation and those seeking “enhanced security” are pissed because it turns out they have nothing of the sort. However, I disagree with them being able to assist the FBI under the table. That work would have eventually been disclosed. Even so, if they had helped I think they would be in a better place than they are now.

  2. John Milnes Baker Says:

    I really wonder if the FBI did decipher the encryption. Something’s fishy. If it was that easy to crack why did they go to Apple in the first place?. Either way, Apple should be embarrassed and the FBI looks pretty sharp – if, as I say, they did indeed crack the code. I doubt we’ll ever know as the FBI won’t share with the public what they supposedly found.

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