The FBI managed to unlock a defendant's iPhone 11 Pro Max using software called GrayKey. Here are the possible repercussions
It's now open war between the FBI and Apple, with the former pressuring the latter to cooperate in the investigation of the bomber in Pensacola, Florida, where an alleged terrorist attacked a U.S. naval base on December 6, causing three deaths and eight injuries before being himself killed.
The cooperation requested from Apple is simple: unlock the alleged bomber's phone, and that of his brother (an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 7). Also because, if Muhammad doesn't go to the mountain, the mountain goes to Muhammad: according to Forbes, the FBI recently managed to unlock an Apple phone, even an iPhone 11 Pro Max, belonging to another person under investigation for another crime. The unlock would have succeeded however using a third-party hacking tool called "GrayKey". The news is unconfirmed, but it is known that the suspect's lawyer confirmed that the phone was locked with a password and that his client had refused to provide his face to unlock the smartphone via Face ID.
What GrayKey is
If what Forbes reported is true, it would be the first successful iPhone unlock without Apple's cooperation. And it would open up a vast prairie for the FBI's numerous counterterrorism investigations. The software used, GrayKey, is developed by the company Grayshift co-founded by a former Apple employee. The tool costs $15,000 to unlock up to 300 iPhones, but there's also a $30,000 version that can unlock an unlimited number of devices.
What will the FBI do?"
If the FBI was able to unlock an iPhone 11 Pro Max with GrayKey, then they shouldn't have much trouble doing it for the less complex iPhone 5 and iPhone 7 of the brothers accused in the Pensacola bombing as well. However, at the moment, the feds prefer to continue putting official pressure on Apple to surrender and cooperate with the investigation. Pressures at the highest level, given that even U.S. President Donald Trump stated in a series of tweets that the U.S. has always helped Apple in trade and that now the company should return the favor and help authorities "make America great again." Apple replied that it has cooperated with the authorities but that it refuses to install a backdoor on its smartphones to breach them if necessary: according to the Cupertino company, this would be a very dangerous weapon that could fall into the wrong hands, putting at risk the security and privacy of all iPhone users.