Government Says It Got Data Off Terrorist's iPhone Without Apple


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 FBI cracks San Bernardino shooter's phone without Apple's help 2:40

The Justice Department has asked to drop the court order that it wanted to use to compel Apple to help unlock an iPhone used by San Bernardino, California, attacker Syed Farook, saying it has gotten data off the device without the company's help.

"The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on Farook's iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple," the government said in a court filing Monday.

The government had been seeking Apple's assistance in bypassing security features on the phone, on which the contents are encrypted. Lawyers for the Justice Department asked for a delay in a court hearing last week after saying an unnamed third party had come forward with a possible way to crack the phone without Apple's help.

The third party hasn't been identified, though who it might be has been a matter of much speculation.

David Bowdich, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles field office, wouldn't comment on the technical steps taken to get at the phone, but he said Monday night that "highly skilled personnel" had been testing it for almost a week to make sure it wouldn't be wiped clean.

"The full exploitation of the phone and follow-up investigative steps are continuing," Bowdich said.

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