DoJ Drops Case Against Apple After FBI Successfully Unlocks San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone



The ongoing fight between Apple and the FBI over an order that would require the tech giant to unlock the iPhone 5c used by the shooter in the San Bernardino case has come to an end. The news comes after the Justice Department announced plans to drop the case against Apple.

In a motion asking the court to drop the original order, prosecutors said that the FBI has been able to successfully unlock and extract the data from the iPhone without Apple’s help, reports AppleInsider.

“The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple Inc. mandated by Court’s Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search dated February 16, 2016.”

Apple was supposed to face the FBI in court on Tuesday, March 22, but just a day prior the FBI asked for the case to be temporarily postponed as it had discovered a way to access the iPhone that would not require Apple’s help. It was later revealed that the FBI had enlisted the help of Israeli mobile software developer Cellebrite, a company that offers “mobile forensic solutions” to help law enforcement agencies crack the encryption on smartphones to access data.


The government has not disclosed the method used to obtain the information on the iPhone, stating only that it has been retrieved. The withdrawal of the case brings the heated battle between Apple and the U.S. government to a close.


  • MikeT

    Hmmm, so the iPhone is not that secure. So sad, I want to smash my iPhone 6 now.

  • Matt

    Yeah, sounds like a plan.
    Seeing as google more than likely would have just handed over the key to their OS judging by their initial stance on the subject

  • awkpain

    If a jailbreak exists then the phone OS has a flaw which can be exploited. I don’t think there’s been a version of ios that hasn’t been broken eventually… in the same way that android phones get rooted. All smart phones get tons of updates these days to fix the flaws but a phone that has not received the updates would obviously be more vulnerable.

  • John

    Apple should buy Cellebrite and use the newly gained knowledge and skills to upgrade iOS security.

  • Brad Fortin

    A lot of jailbreaks rely on the iPhone not having a passcode lock, though, with many of them telling users to remove the passcode in order to perform the jailbreak.

    The iPhone in this case was also running iOS 8, which is presumably less secure than iOS 9, so the exploit that worked on that phone may not work on more updated devices.