Following a press statement made by FBI, the bureau has explained their motivation for resetting their iCloud password regarding the San Bernardino iPhone unlock/backdoor case. Apparently this is a messy situation created by FBI which prevented Apple from extracting the data from the iPhone using iCloud.
From FBI denied the allegations and they have said that the county did it along with the help of FBI because they needed to access the suspect’s iCloud account to gather evidence. The reports say that they were able to successfully retrieve iCloud backup data up till October 19th. Still, their main reason on why they want Apple to create a backdoor into the locked iPhone device is because they believe that there is still much more useful data available on the phone and which can prove to be relevant for the case.
Due to unknown reasons, that particular iPhone did not backup anything to iCloud Unlock after October 19th. There is the possibility that Syed Farook has disabled the feature on the device or perhaps the iPhone did not return to a known Wi-Fi network whilst being plugged in. And it is not proven whether a newer iCloud backup would bring more evidence to the case.
FBI in their press statement has explained that the government wants from Apple to create a backdoor so that it can perform a data extraction on the device. They want to do this because previously in former investigations they have managed to find more information using this particular method.
Apple’s deadline to respond to FBI’s demand is due to expire next Friday. It is highly expected that Apple will formally reject the motion in court, knowing their hard stance which was expressed in Tim Cook’s open letter from last week.
FBI has asked from Apple to create a special version of the iOS of the iPhone which will remove certain Passcode-related features in order to enable a brute force attack on the PIN code. In other words, this means that FBI asks from Apple to create a custom firmware that will allow an unlimited number of PIN attempts without the normal hour-long delay before incorrect password entries. The particular iPhone device used by the suspect is a 5C model which lacks a fingerprint sensor as well as other security features that are enabled by the Secure Enclave of the newer iPhone models. Still, from Apple have said that the same techniques that FBI wants to use can be applied for newer iPhone models as well.