Azimuth creates “Condor Hack” to unlock San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 


The Washington Post reports that the FBI paid an Australian firm, Azimuth Security, to unlock a disputed Apple iPhone. The exploits are now known as the “Condor Hack.”The phone was linked to the deadly 2015 San Bernardino shooting. 

The Washington Post describes the exploits used to break into the iPhone in March 2016. The process of unlocking the phone became known as the “Condor hack” in intelligence circles.

The phone that created the controversy was seized after its owner, Syed Rizwan Farook, was killed after carrying out an attack that killed 14 people.

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FBI Asked Apple for Help

The FBI quickly realized they couldn’t get into the phone. Apple’s security included an iOS 9 feature that would erase the phone after 10 failed password attempts. 

The FBI requested help from Apple but the company refused to build a password bypass system. They believed that circumventing their own security, to aid the FBI, would deeply compromise Apple security. And refused to build the requested backdoor into their system.