Scientist Clones Chip To Unlock iPhone, Proves FBI Wrong

Dr. Sergei Skorobogatov of Cambridge University spent $100 on a process that may have cost FBI $1 million.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

September 20, 2016

1 Min Read

A Cambridge University computer scientist has reportedly proved FBI chief James Comey wrong when earlier this year he said the iPhone belonging to San Bernardino killer Syed Rizwan Farook could not be unlocked by mirroring its memory chip and retrying its PIN code.

A BBC News report says that, using $100 worth of electronic parts, Dr. Sergei Skorobogatov was able to bypass the PIN code of an iPhone 5C. He first cloned the Nand chip of the phone and then, using the copies to make repeated tries, he found the correct PIN code and unlocked the device.

It took around 40 hours for Skorobogatov to crack the four-digit code. A six-digit code, he said, could take hundreds of hours, but with better resources it could be faster.

The FBI paid $1 million to a vendor to hack the iPhone belonging to Farook after Apple refused to help bypass the code.

Read the full story on BBC News.

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Dark Reading Staff

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