The FBI is working with Cellbrite, a mobile data recovery firm from Petah Tikva, Israel as reported by Yedioth Ahronoth. Cellbrite provides mobile forensic software that may be used in unlocking the iPhone used by terrorist shooter Syed Rizwan Farook in the San Bernardino attack. This comes on the heels of a prolonged privacy battle with Apple Inc. (AAPL). Apple refused to assist the FBI and fought a court order to provide tools to allow the FBI make multiple password attempts without locking up the device. This new development has put a pause in the FBI’s legal fight with Apple.
According the the Los Angeles Times, David Bowdich, assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office gave additional information in an interview. He said that agency became aware of the third party company’s ability to unlock iPhone through a demonstration on Sunday evening.
As a result of this demonstration, the FBI asked a federal judge to delay a hearing in its court battle with iPhone manufacturer Apple. Much to Apples potential relief, many people are wondering if that if this technology exists, is anyone safe from the prying eyes of the government? The FBI has not confirmed the cooperation of CellBrite or if this technology works. Delaying the court hearing against Apple makes a strong case for this having some weight.
If Cellbrite is successful in unlocking Farook’s phone, this enable United States government agents to gain access to information on assailants possible co-conspirators and advance the investigation. Many questions remain unanswered in the San Bernardino terror attack regarding whether or not this was a lone gunman ISIS inspired attack or something more sinister. If evidence exists that the incident was coordinated, this may lead to learning the identity of ISIS recruiters in the United States or abroad.
Privacy experts and government watchdogs may be eyeing this case that has numerous privacy issues. We will continue to
About CellBrite Mobile Synchronization Ltd.
- Privately held
- Founded in 1999
- Based in Petah Tikva, Israel
- Services: Universal Memory Exchanger and Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED)
- Number of Employees: 200+
- Parent company: Sun Corporation