For the first time, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has unlocked a suspect's iPhone X using Face ID. The US agency arrested Grant Michalski, an Ohio resident accused of receiving and possessing data child pornography, to unlock his iPhone X on August 10.
It should be noted that the FBI had the necessary search warrant to compel Michalski to unlock the phone of.
After unlocking the phone, FBI Special Agent David Knight discovered conversations on the Kik chat-messenger that involved child abuse. Michalski had spoken to a police officer posing as a father he was interested in having sex with children. Είχε ανταλλάξει επίσης μηνύματα ηλεκτρονικού ταχυδρομείου με άλλο ύποπτο (τον William Weekley) for sexual contact with minors.
Despite unlocking Michalski's phone, Knight was unable to gather more information due to a new iOS feature. This feature requires a password to be entered to transfer the data to a computer.
Under US law, suspects are not required to reveal passwords, but there is no law on facial and fingerprint data. So due to the vagueness of the law, authorities can ask anyone to unlock their device using biometric data.
The warrant we mentioned above did not allow Knight to request the password to examine the data. However, the Columbus Police Department and the Ohio State Bureau of Investigation were able to unlock the device with special tools.
Companies like Grayshift and Cellebrite have long had services for accessing locked iPhones. Both companies have contracts with various US government agencies.
Apple and US authorities appear to have been playing a game of cat and mouse since 2016, when the Cupertino company refused to unlock a suspect's phone. The company later developed a feature στο iOS 11, το οποίο επέτρεπε στους χρήστες να απενεργοποιήσουν προσωρινά το touchID πιέζοντας το κουμπί αύξησης της έντασης του ήχου πέντε φορές. Πρόσφατα, κάποιος έφτιαξε ακόμη μια συντόμευση στο iOS 12 για να απενεργοποιεί αυτόματα την κάμερα του iPhone σε περίπτωση έρευνας από την αστυνομία.