The secret encryption that protects the data of millions of iPhone owners has been largely kept a secret from the public.
But the FBI is investigating a new software company that may have been responsible for the data recovery tools used to unlock an iPhone 5s’ security.
“It appears that the software may have compromised the security of the device,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Mike DePasquale said.
“We’re investigating this and we’re looking at any possible evidence that might lead us to that conclusion,” he said.
DePasqale said investigators believe the malware could have been created by someone who used the tool to access data from a remote server.
In a blog post Monday, the FBI said it found evidence that the tool was used by “multiple parties” to access the phone’s phone number, password and other information.
The malware, called “Sophos,” was designed to take advantage of vulnerabilities in Apple’s operating system, the agency said.
“It has been discovered that this malware has been designed to execute commands in the shell language of Apple Mac OS X, and in addition to the usual shell commands, it can also execute the following commands in Python, a Python scripting language,” the FBI wrote.
DePascquale told reporters the FBI was working to identify the individuals behind the tool, and said that it could be an “emerging security threat” for the iPhone 5.
Apple has said it’s working to fix the problem and is working to develop software to block the malware. For more: