FBI testing code-based method to get into San Bernardino iPhone

The Justice Dept. says it's too early to know how the hack will turn out.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor

The FBI is said to be testing a code-based method to get into the iPhone 5C used by the accused shooter in the San Bernardino terrorist attack.

The Washington Post reports that law enforcement officials have confirmed that agents are testing the method different smartphone devices and mobile operating systems, thanks to an outside party brought in over the weekend to help get into the iPhone, given Apple's refusal to help.

It's believed the FBI will try to open the iPhone 5C soon after testing.

But officials are yet to consider this a victory.

Asked during a press conference on Thursday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said it was "really too early" to say if agents will be successful.

The case has gained a slew of publicity, after Apple appealed a court's request for the company to help the FBI crack into the iPhone by creating a custom version of the iOS software. The trial was set to begin this week, until the FBI requested to stall the proceedings as it tested a way to unlock the terrorist's iPhone.

It hasn't been confirmed who is helping the FBI open the iPhone. Some reports have pointed to forensic firm Cellebrite assisting the Justice Dept. in opening the iPhone. A look at Cellebrite's billings show it's worked with the government agency in the last few weeks.

Despite this, the Israeli company declined to comment to reporters when asked.

"We tried everything we could think of, asked everybody we thought might be able to help -- inside and outside the government -- before bringing the litigation in San Bernardino," FBI Director James Comey said at the same press conference.

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