U.S. Law Enforcements Successfully Unlocked iPhones By Using Dead Suspects' Fingerprints

Even through U.S. law enforcements ran into some failures when they used the fingers of dead suspects to unlock iPhones, an agency have successfully unlocked the devices, then obtained evidence from it, according to a report who wrote by Forbes on Thursday.

Let's take a time travels to the November of 2016, during the Ohio State University attack, Abdul Razak Ali Artan had mowed down a group of people in his car, soon he was killed by a police officer. FBI tries to unlock his iPhone 5s, the first iPhone that featured with Touch ID, but they were unsuccessfully to unlock the device...

Image Credit iGeeksBlog

However, data was later retrieved with the help of a forensics lab. The data later helped the authorities determine that Artan's failed attempt to murder innocents may have been a result of ISIS-inspired radicalization. The report did not disclose any of further details as for how they retrieved the data.

Unfortunately for the FBI, Artan's lifeless fingerprint didn't unlock the device (an iPhone 5 model, though Moledor couldn't recall which. Touch ID was introduced in the iPhone 5S). In the hours between his death and the attempt to unlock, when the feds had to go through legal processes regarding access to the smartphone, the iPhone had gone to sleep and when reopened required a passcode, Moledor said. He sent the device to a forensics lab which managed to retrieve information from the iPhone, the FBI phone expert and a Columbus officer who worked the case confirmed.

Bloomberg's sources adds that the practice has since become common to use the fingers of dead bodies to try and unlock iPhones. This is legal for police to use the technique, even if there might be some ethical quandaries to consider. Law enforcements is also attempting to hack iPhone X's Face ID, in fact, a researcher at CloudFlare claims that it didn't need to require the visage of a living person to work.

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