FBI: Sorry, That iPhone Bug Stays Secret for Now


For now, the FBI has no intention of sharing its mysterious iPhone unlocking mechanism with Apple, though that could change.

During an event at Georgetown University this week, FBI chief James Comey said the agency was weighing whether to disclose the details of the iPhone bug as part of a White House disclosure program intended to keep companies abreast of possible vulnerabilities in their software. 

As the Wall Street Journal reports, the FBI says it's not actually sure it knows enough about the iPhone hacking process to make a disclosure. The latest rumors suggest the FBI hired hackers to break into the iPhone 5c used by the shooter, a pricey effort that has reportedly thus far not yielded much information.

This White House disclosure policy involves government officials who decide whether bugs are major enough to warrant a notification. It's come under fire from privacy groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which said in March that the feds should disclose the iPhone bug to Apple.

In the meantime, the FBI recently informed Apple of a vulnerability involving older versions of iOS and Mac, Reuters reports. In this case, however, it appears that Apple was already aware of the problem. An anonymous Apple exec told Reuters that the bug was fixed with iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan.

Neither Apple nor the FBI immediately responded to PCMag's request for comment.

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