The FBI informed Apple of a flaw in older versions of iOS and OS X on April 14 which is the first ever flaw reported to Apple by a law enforcement agency.
FBI Revealed iPhone Vulnerability To Apple on April 14
The vulnerability equities process allows federal agencies to confirm whether serious security flaws should be kept secret for law enforcement agency or reveal to companies to let them fix some vulnerabilities.
The security flaw which the FBI disclosed to Apple regarding iPhone and Mac was fixed with the release of iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan. However, it is not that vulnerability which the FBI reportedly used to unlock the iPhone used by one San Bernardino shooter. Basically, by revealing such vulnerabilities, law enforcement agencies aims to hack into the devices and also warning manufacturer so they can resolve security flaws before criminals and hackers exploit them” reports Reuters.
The vulnerability is only affecting older versions of the iPhone. The flaw in OS X which the FBI disclosed to Apple is only found in older versions of EI Capitan. If you are using latest version of OS, then you don’t need to worry.
Apple claims that 80 percent of iPhones users are using a safe version of iOS and are not vulnerable to security flaw disclosed by FBI. Apple said that it does not have plans to release a patch for the rest 20 percent older devices, so users should upgrade their software or if they couldn’t, then upgrading the phone is the only option left.
The FBI was prompted to give Apple information about vulnerability on older devices following a report indicating that it would not use the vulnerability Equities Process to show Apple the method which it used to hack the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter.
“The day after that report, the FBI offered information about the older vulnerabilities to Apple. The move may have been an effort to show that it can and does use the White House process and disclose hacking methods when it can”.
“The flaw the FBI disclosed to Apple this month did nothing to change the company’s perception that the White House process is less effective than has been claimed, said an Apple executive who declined to be named”.
FBI has decided not to reveal the vulnerability which it has exploited to access the San Bernardino shooters iPhone 5c. FBI’s director, James Comey has hinted that FBI cannot give details regarding hacking method used on the shooters iPhone as the security flaw exploited is possessed by a private organisation.