Every iPhone Now Unlockable by the Feds, Report Says

Sources told 'Forbes' that a federal contractor discovered a way to get around Apple security
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2018 6:52 PM CST
Government Likely Now Able To Unlock Any iPhone, Report Says
Residents pass by an advertisement for the iPhone X in Beijing, China   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

The federal government is likely now able to unlock any model of iPhone. A report in Forbes says a contractor known as a go-to for when U.S. officials want a suspect's device unlocked has discovered a way around Apple's security features. The contractor is an Israeli firm called Cellebrite, which the report suggests successfully circumvented security on an iPhone X late last year during a Michigan arms trafficking investigation. Forbes reports the company "developed undisclosed techniques" that allow it access to iOS 11. However, the firm has not made any public statements about the reported development so it's not clear what that development might be. Apple has thus far not responded to the report.

If true, the news marks a major victory for police forces worldwide who've struggled to keep up with the increased security that comes with each new iPhone release. As CNET notes,

Apple and the Department of Justice first famously butted heads following a terrorist shooting in San Bernardino when the tech giant refused to assist federal authorities in their attempts to get into the suspects' locked phones. While it took a court order before Apple would comply, they never had to follow through with it. By the time the company agreed, federal officials announced that a contractor had already helped them unlock the phones.
(More iPhone stories.)

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