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tac­ti­cal er­ror, as the FBI could have got­ten the phone to make a fresh backup of it­self au­to­mat­i­cally, but once they had asked the county to change the iCloud pass­word, the phone wouldn’t back it­self up with­out the pass code.

On this ba­sis, the FBI asked Ap­ple if it could code a new ver­sion of iOS 9 with­out the 10-guess pass code limit and then get the phone to in­stall it. As it turns out, a four-digit pass code has only 10,000 pos­si­bil­i­ties and the FBI could crack that quite eas­ily.

Af­ter much dis­cus­sion be­tween the peo­ple at Ap­ple, the an­swer came back to the FBI: “No.”

Ap­ple later ex­plained that if they cre­ated a tool for crack­ing open iPhones and that tool got out into the open (ei­ther through hack­ing or hu­man care­less­ness), the se­cu­rity of all iPhones would be com­pro­mised.

This ar­gu­ment turned out to be moot, how­ever, as the FBI then an­nounced it used a mys­te­ri­ous “out-

Ap­ple later ex­plained that if they cre­ated a tool for crack­ing open iPhones and that tool got out into the open, the se­cu­rity of all iPhones would be com­pro­mised

Pic­ture: iS­TOCK

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