FBI already has the means to bypass the security measures of the iPhone 5c involved in the San Bernardino shooting, and the Justice Department has suspended the case as a result. However, the investigators aren't keen on telling Apple how they did it.

The exact details of the method used still remain a mystery, but FBI Director James Comey says that it only works on a "narrow slice of phones," particularly the iPhone 5c and older models. Even though the iPhone 5s rolled out alongside the iPhone 5c, it's apparently safe from the authorities' purchased tool, according to him.

What's interesting here is that the one big difference between the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s is that the latter is the only one out of the two that has Touch ID. In other words, there's more or less a possibility that the feature is a determining factor.

Moreover, Apple implemented the tougher security system on iOS 8 or later, and the iPhone 5c in question runs on iOS 9. That means the FBI has the capability of cracking the updated software, but not later generations of the handset such as the iPhone 6s, which also have Touch ID.

At this point, nothing is certain, except that the FBI doesn't want the Cupertino brand to find out how it finally cracked the iPhone 5c.

According to CNN, Comey doesn't want the iPhone maker to know about it because it will cause the progress of the authorities to go back to square one, but he notes that they could inform the company in the future.

"We tell Apple, then they're going to fix it, then we're back where we started from. We may end up there, we just haven't decided yet," Comey says.

Nevertheless, what the FBI is doing is just wrong, as it holds a back door of sorts to the iPhone 5c or older models and puts their owners at risk of having their privacy compromised.

Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns | Flickr

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