FBI says it can hack 'narrow slice' of iPhones

The FBI director said the hack it used to bypass the passcode on the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone does not work on an iPhone 5s or later.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

The FBI's hack used to gain access to the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooter's does not work on newer devices.


FBI Director James Comey addresses in Detroit on Tuesday. (Image: Carlos Osorio/AP Images)

FBI director James Comey said in speech at Kenyon College on Wednesday that the hack doesn't work on an iPhone 5s or later. "This doesn't work on [iPhone] 6's... doesn't work on a [iPhone] 5S," he said.

"We have a tool that works on a narrow slice of phones," he added.

The full exchange was posted on Livestream, and can be found around the 52 minute mark.

Comey did not say exactly how the hack works, but it's likely to relate to the Secure Enclave that's found in newer iPhones and iPads, but not on the iPhone 5C, which was used by Sayed Farook in the December 2 attack.

According to recent data, iPhone 5C takes up about 5 percent of the overall iPhone market. That amounts to about 17 percent in total of all devices that don't come with the Secure Enclave.

We've reached out to the FBI for more.

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