I’m sure we are all aware of the dispute between the FBI and Apple, as the FBI has been facing a dilemma with accessing the San Bernardino iPhone used by a terrorist. Well in the end, the FBI was able to gain access to the iPhone without Apple’s help and without losing all of the data stored on the phone. But the real question is, how did they do it?

It turns out the FBI was able to assemble a team of professional hackers who were familiar with the situation and were able to identify an unknown software flaw in the phone. Using this information they were able to create a piece of hardware capable of cracking the San Bernardino iPhone four-digit security password.

The hackers who helped the FBI, specialize in finding exploits in software and systems. In some cases, with every new finding, they will extend their services to the US government… for a fee of course.

Pro hackers such as these individuals come from dark areas of the internet and earn a living from finding flaws in company softwares and systems.

Some of them are referred to as “white hats,” who are known for disclosing exploits to firms who created the software. However, there also exists, “black hats,” who keep exploit information to themselves to hack networks and steal people’s personal information.

But the few who helped the FBI fall under a different category, with questionable ethics. They are hackers who find vulnerabilities among software and sell these vulnerabilities for profit. Sometimes in the right hands, and sometimes in the wrong.

Source: The Washington Post