AP was first to report that the FBI today agreed to defeat security features to allow access to the contents of those two iOS-running devices, which belonged to two teenagers charged with killing an elderly couple.
We still don't know what mysterious 'outside assistance' the FBI received, and rumors that an Israeli firm sold them an exploit remain unverified. The government says it won't share the method it used to access the San Bernardino iPhone, but it feels safe to assume that however they did it, they bought the rights to do it again and again. They're not telling Apple, or the rest of us.
From the Associated Press:
Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland said the FBI agreed to the request from his office and the Conway Police Department Wednesday afternoon. A judge on Tuesday agreed to postpone the trial of 18-year-old Hunter Drexler so prosecutors could ask the FBI for help. Drexler's trial was moved from next week to June 27.
Drexler and 15-year-old Justin Staton are accused of killing Robert and Patricia Cogdell at their home in Conway, 30 miles north of Little Rock, in July. The Cogdells had raised Staton as their grandson.
The FBI announced Monday that it had gained access to an iPhone belonging to Syed Farook, who died with his wife in a gun battle with police after they killed 14 people in San Bernardino in December. The FBI hasn't revealed how it cracked Farook's iPhone. Authorities also haven't said whether the iPhone and iPod in the Arkansas case are the same models or whether the FBI will use the same method to try to get into the devices.
Hiland said he could not discuss details of the murder case in Arkansas, but confirmed the FBI had agreed less than a day after the initial request.
FBI: You should do it, it’s just one phone— Jonathan Ździarski (@JZdziarski) March 30, 2016
Apple: No it isn’t
FBI: We got in
Apple: You should say how, it’s just one phone
FBI: No it isn’t
FBI Agrees to Unlock iPhone, iPod in Arkansas Homicide Case https://t.co/PHlC1QwW1X Welp, that didn't take long.— Kurt Opsahl (@kurtopsahl) March 30, 2016
There you have it. Multiple platforms supported and they obviously bought the rights to the solution. https://t.co/VV49JJWTZB— Jonathan Ździarski (@JZdziarski) March 31, 2016
Here’s my reasoning, why I think the nature and source of an FBI exploit is a matter of national security https://t.co/l7EE1cQ9J1— Jonathan Ździarski (@JZdziarski) March 30, 2016
FBI refusing to say how it got into the San Bernardino iPhone runs against best security practices, writes Schneier: https://t.co/WNzMHjN9GF— EFF (@EFF) March 30, 2016
Related, here is the DoJ's argument for keeping their Tor Browser exploit under wraps. Compelling. pic.twitter.com/Ni17XVJiBg— Joseph Cox (@josephfcox) March 30, 2016