An Israeli mobile forensics company called Cellebrite is helping the Federal Bureau of Investigation unlock the iPhone at the center of a legal battle between the U.S. government and Apple, according to the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth (in Hebrew) today. The report cited unnamed sources.
Cellebrite told Quartz it had no comment on the report. The Justice Department told Quartz it would not comment on who is helping it with the phone, nor the method being tested.
The FBI obtained a court order Feb. 16 asking Apple to help it bypass security mechanisms on an iPhone belonging to one of the shooters in the San Bernardino, California, attack in December. Apple challenged the order, and the matter was to be decided at a hearing yesterday. The U.S. government unexpectedly asked for and received a postponement on the eve of the court date, saying an unidentified “outside party” had just shown it a possible way to unlock the iPhone without Apple’s help.
The Israel-headquartered Cellebrite makes a product called the UFED Touch that’s billed as being able to “extract, decode and analyze evidentiary data” from a range of mobile phones, according to a marketing brochure (pdf) for the product.