Turkey Asks Apple to Unlock Russian Ambassador Killer’s iPhone

2016 hasn’t seen the last of Apple’s encryption debate. The iPhone belonging to the man who assassinated the Russian ambassador to Turkey before he took his own life is now under scrutiny.

This must feel familiar to Apple. The off-duty police officer who shot and killed the Russian ambassador in Turkey had an iPhone on him. According to multiple reports, authorities in Turkey have asked Apple to unlock the device.

According to MacReports, Turkish authorities have contacted Apple to help unlock the iPhone and the tech giant has not responded in kind. It is reported that Apple will not help unlock the iPhone, a stance the company has taken previously with the FBI earlier this year.

Authorities are looking to bypass the PIN security code on the device to access its content. The report adds that Russia offered to help Turkey with the process after the latter reportedly failed to unlock the device. More specifically, Russia is planning to send a “special technical team” to Turkey for this specific task.

The killer’s device is an iPhone 4S, with a 4-digit passcode.

In April this year, the FBI reportedly paid hackers to crack the San Bernardino killer’s iPhone. The unlock proved successful and was carried out without the help of Apple. In this case, authorities reportedly developed a new piece of hardware that directly enabled them to crack the iPhone’s 4-digit pin code. More pointedly, the hack was achieved without triggering the auto-erase security feature built in with the iPhone.

It was later revealed that the FBI paid a record sum to hackers in what could be the highest-ever publicized fee for an exploit.

When FBI Director James Comey asked how much the FBI had paid hackers to crack the iPhone, he replied:

A lot. More than I will make in the remainder of this job, which is seven years and four months for sure. But it was, in my view, worth it.

Comey’s annual salary is $183,300. Earning that sum over the next seven years and four months adds up to $1.34 million.

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