The FBI is reportedly seeking help from an Israeli firm to crack open the San Bernardino attacker’s iPhone.
Cellebrite, a company that provides mobile forensics services, is working with the FBI to unlock Syed Farook’s iPhone 5c, according to Reuters, which cites Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.
Apple and the FBI have been locked in a bitter battle over whether the iPhone maker should be forced to help law enforcement unlock the San Bernardino attacker’s phone. Apple and its top executives argue that creating an alternate OS to open an encrypted phone will have unintended consequnces. The U.S. government, however, has said that without Apple’s help, it cannot open the device.
Apple and the FBI were supposed to meet in court on Tuesday, but late on Monday, the Justice Department said it received a tip from an unidentified third-party claiming that it could unlock the iPhone without Apple’s help. The hearing was thus pushed to April.
Since then, the FBI has been mum on its progress. The Justice Department has not confirmed that Cellebrite is the mysterious third party.
According to Cellebrite’s website, it offers what it calls “mobile forensics” services that let it help law-enforcement agencies “unlock the intelligence of mobile data and accelerate investigations.” The company adds that it can “produce evidence” for law enforcement.
Cellebrite did not immediately respond to a request for comment.