5 years ago when the US government wanted Apple to crack into a terrorist’s iPhone, they declined so the government had to resort to third-party companies that would open up the iPhone for them.
Though at that time the identity of the cracker was not revealed. However, recent reports now claim that it was Azimuth Security who had cracked the iPhone security for the government.
Azimuth Security is a fairly known start-up cybersecurity firm in Australia. The firm specializes in providing ‘best-of-breed technical services’ to its clients and that’s just what the US government needed.
The firm helped the FBI open the iPhone of the terrorists. The terrorists were Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, who killed 14 people in a shootout in Southern California. The two later died in an altercation with the police.
Azimuth is actually owned by L3 Technologies who is a defense contractor that connected the two parties. The US government paid Azimuth $900,000 to help them crack the iPhone’s security. The phone belonged to the assailants and the FBI wanted to know if they had any connections to known extremist groups.
Azimuth’s iOS specialist David Warg, eventually broke into the phone using a one-time exploit chain named ‘Condor’. The exploit was able to safely unlock the phone without causing any damage to the data within. Much to their surprise, the shooter couple had to links to any extremist group according to the data on their phone.
The thing is, the FBI at that time, sued Apple and wanted them to crack the phone’s encryption, but why bother to sue the company when they could just ask companies like Azimuth to do it. I
t turns out that the FBI was merely trying to set a legal precedent that would allow them to call on the private sector to decrypt products like the phones for them in the future.