The Director of the FBI has admitted the tool used to crack open the iPhone 5c of the San Bernardino terrorists doesn't work on any of the newer models.
Speaking at Kenyon College, Ohio, (via TechRadar) Director James Coney, said the passcode by-passing method is only functional on older iPhones.
“It’s a bit of a technological corner case, because the world has moved on to sixes,” he said. “This doesn’t work on sixes, doesn’t work on a 5s. So we have a tool that works on a narrow slice of phones.”
It's currently unclear what about the newer handsets makes them insusceptible to the method.
Coney also revealed the tool was purchased, rather than offered up by a private citizen seeking to help the government to investigate a terrorist, CNN Money reports.
"Litigation between the government and Apple over the San Bernardino phone has ended, because the government has purchased, from a private party, a way to get into that phone, 5c, running iOS 9,” Coney said.
"The people we bought this from, I know a fair amount about them, and I have a high degree of confidence that they are very good at protecting it, and their motivations align with ours."
See also: Apple vs the FBI: Why is Apple so upset?
The Feds’ inability to crack open an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s is welcome news for both Apple and millions of users who have upgraded to newer models.
Unfortunately for Apple, it still doesn’t know how the FBI got into the Syed Farook’s 5c, according to Coney.
He added: “We tell Apple, then they're going to fix it, then we're back where we started from. We may end up there, we just haven't decided yet."
Apple, of course, have famously refused to provide the FBI with a backdoor into disputed the iPhone. The parties were destined for court before the Feds found a way in.
With that in mind the FBI is unlikely to be giving the game away here. Unless, of course, a deal can be reached…
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