APPLE: The FBI screwed up its investigation and now we can’t unlock the shooter’s iPhone

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Senior Apple executives have accused the San Bernardino shooting investigation of making a critical misstep during a conference call with reporters, multiple outlets are reporting.

Apple and the government are battling over whether the company must help the FBI extract data from an encrypted iPhone.

Apple is saying that the iPhone in question, used by shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, had its passcode changed within 24 hours of it coming into government possession.

If that hadn’t happened, then Apple thinks it might have been possible to access the phone without creating custom software to bypass the phone’s passcode requirement. This could’ve been done through a tactic that would have connected the phone to a known Wi-Fi network and caused the device to automatically back up its data to Apple servers.

The iPhone 5C in question was not owned by Farook. Instead, it was issued to Farook by the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, his employer.

Apple says that it has been in discussions with the government since early January.

The senior Apple officials went on to add that they had suggested a workaround to extract information from the infamous iPhone that would have worked if the passcode had not been changed.

Apple argued that it is bringing it up now because the US Department of Justice had mentioned the event in a Friday filing.

Apple executives said that they consider creating custom software for the FBI an undue burden.

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