Federal Bureau of Investigation’s secret method for unlocking the iPhone
5c used by one of the San Bernardino shooters will not work on newer
models, FBI Director James Comey said.
"We have a tool that works on a narrow slice of phones," Comey said at a
conference on encryption and surveillance at Kenyon College in Ohio late
Apple’s shares were down 1.3 percent at midday.
Comey added that the technique would not work on the iPhone 5s and the
later models iPhone 6 and 6s. The iPhone 5c model was introduced in 2013
and has since been discontinued by Apple as newer models have become
The Justice Department said in March it had unlocked the San Bernardino
shooter’s iPhone with the help of an unidentified third party and
dropped its case against Apple Inc , ending a high-stakes legal clash
but leaving the broader fight over encryption unresolved.
The Justice Department has asked a New York court to force Apple to
unlock an iPhone 5s related to a drug investigation. Prosecutors in that
case said they would update the court by April 11 on whether it would
"modify" its request for Apple’s assistance.
If the government continues to pursue that case, the technology company
could potentially use legal discovery to force the FBI to reveal what
technique it used, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.