Deception

The intelligence world is built on a single word: Deception.
The FBI has announced that they no longer need Apple’s help in cracking the iPhone of the Santa Barbara terrorists.

The FBI says a third party provided the key to crack the phone, and the rumor is that it is an Israeli firm. 
There are many potential answers, and almost certainly the proffered answer is not accurate. Apple could have provided the answer, but to protect their sales base, the FBI gave Apple cover by leaking that it was a third party. NSA could have provided the answer, but laid off the credit so as to keep their capability cloaked. 

And, of course, it could be that an Israeli firm provided the clue.

Remember Stuxnet? That was the computer program cyber attack on the centrifuges that Iran was using to concentrate their weapons grade Uranium. That attack destroyed thousands of Iranian centrifuges, and as they spun themselves to death, the monitors of the Iranian Control Room read that everything was normal. The best estimate is that the computer program took thousands of highly trained computer programmers several months to construct.

Obviously, only nations have those kinds of capabilities, and the best guess is that Stuxnet was a joint Israeli and American endeavor…but then, who knows?

And, similarly, who knows how the Apple iPhone was cracked? It almost certainly was not what is being offered in the press.

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