SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — CBS News learned Friday that the password for Syed Farook’s iCloud account was changed after the shooting, which may have impacted efforts to retrieve data from the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5c.
A senior Apple executive told CBS News the company was working with the FBI to try to retrieve data from Farook’s phone without having to break into the encryption, but one attempt was unsuccessful because Farook’s iCloud password had been changed after the phone came into the possession of the FBI. This executive says Apple does not know who changed the password or whether it affected the phone backing up to the cloud, but the attempt was unsuccessful possibly because of the password change.READ MORE: California Drought: Healdsburg Bans Sprinklers; Sets Personal Water Use To 74 Gallons A Day
In response, the FBI told CBS News that someone with San Bernardino County (Farook’s employer, which actually owned the phone) remotely reset the password on Farook’s account in the hours after the attack. The government says that had the effect of eliminating the possibility of an auto-backup.READ MORE: Update: One Killed, Two Injured When Truck Crashes Into Diners at San Jose Sports Bar
Apple senior executives spoke with reporters on Friday afternoon in response to a motion filed by the Department of Justice to compel Apple to help FBI investigators hack into an iPhone 5c issued to Farook, one of two shooters who participated in a 2015 terrorism rampage, which left 14 people dead and even more injured.
On Friday, the Justice Department offered what it considers a less intrusive option: it would allow Apple to create and destroy specialized software that would only hack into Farook’s phone.MORE NEWS: San Francisco Police Arrest Serial Burglary Suspect
In response, a senior Apple executive told CBS News, “if we break this phone at 8 a.m., destroy the code, then at 10 a.m., we get another subpoena.”