With the successful hacking of the iPhone 5c belonging to San Bernardino terror accused behind its back, the FBI now has two other Apple devices on the queue that too need to be hacked to help solve another criminal case. The Apple devices in question, an iPhone and an iPod belong to two teenagers accused of killing an elderly couple.
As per the report, FBI took less than a day to respond to the Arkansas prosecutor’s appeal for help in cracking open the iPhone and iPod. Likewise, the judge overseeing the trial of 18-year-old Hunter Drexler has postponed the next hearing to June 27 to allow for enough time for the FBI to act. The trial was initially scheduled next week itself.
Of particular interest is the iPod, which 15-year-old Justin Staton, a co-accused in the case, is reported to have mentioned in his phone conversations to have been used for communicating plans about the grisly act.
Both Drexler and Staton are accused of killing Robert and Patricia Cogdell in Conway last July. The couple has been raising Staton as their grandson. The prosecutors have been in possession of the iPhone belonging to Drexler since that time.
However, what is not known at the moment is the particular model of the iPhone and iPod or the iOS version those run. Further, what is also being keenly watched is how exactly the particular iPhone and the iPad are cracked given that the method employed to unlock the iPhone 5c in the San Bernardino case is unlikely to be of help if both the iPhone devices or the software versions aren’t similar.
Further, another reason FBI could refrain from using the same tool as with the iPhone in San Bernardino terror case as the same could reach the public domain. Interestingly, while Syed Farook whose iPhone 5C has led to the whole nation debating about security and privacy was already dead during the trials, both the teenagers accused in the Arkansas trial are alive and in custody.
This is another case that Apple too no doubt will be watching over intently given the sort of drubbing it received when the FBI managed to crack open the iPhone 5C with no help from the Cupertino giant. Another couple of its devices cracked opened, and there will be serious doubts over the security of Apple’s devices. It is another Apple vs. FBI battle being played out at another place and another time. While the FBI is already one up, what remains to be seen is whether Apple will be able to draw even.