US drops Apple case after cracking iPhone

The FBI has abandoned its bid to force Apple to help it break into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, after it found a way to access the device’s contents without the company’s help.

On Monday afternoon, Judge Sheri Pym in the Central District of California proved the Department of Justice’s request to vacate the court order she granted a month and a half ago, writes Tim Bradshaw in San Francisco.

Apple had vigorously resisted the order, claiming that it would involve creating a “back door” that would weaken the security and privacy of all iPhone owners.

“The government has now successfully accessed the data stored on [Syed Rizwan] Farook’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple” that had been mandated by February’s court order, the government wrote in a filing on Monday.

A week ago, the FBI asked for a delay to a court hearing originally scheduled for last Tuesday after it said that an unnamed third party had approached it with a potential solution to what had become a bitter standoff between Apple and the government.

Apple attorneys said last week that they did not know how investigators were trying to break into its device, suggesting that there may be a vulnerability in the iPhone’s security of which it is unaware.

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