FBI Paid Hackers to Unlock iPhone and Other News

Today, we talk about how the FBI paid hackers to unlock the iPhone and live updates from the Facebook F8 Conference.

Welcome to our daily news mashup. Now that we’re back with full force, let’s take a look at what’s been shaking up the tech industry.

FBI Paid Hackers to Unlock iPhone

New reports suggest that the FBI had paid professional ‘grey hat’ hackers a one-time fee to access the information stored in the iPhone of Syed Farook, one of the San Bernardino attackers. Previously, rumors suggested that Cellebrite (an Israeli mobile security firm) was behind the successful hack.

According to the sources behind the reports, the hackers informed the FBI about a software flaw that can be used to "create a piece of hardware" that the FBI can use to access the iPhone. The hardware allowed bypassing the feature that erased all data if a passcode is entered multiple times.

The FBI states that the software flaw only works on the iPhone 5c and older models, and is not willing to share the details with Apple.

In computer security, whereas ‘white hat’ hackers disclose all security flaws and remain ethical, ‘black hat’ hackers exploit the flaws and steal information, and ‘grey hat’ hackers do not disclose security flaws. However, in most cases, they choose to sell them to governments or private buyers. This is exactly what happened in the Apple v. FBI case.

Facebook F8 Developer Conference Updates

Facebook's F8 developer conference is underway at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. And, there’s a lot to talk about – from chatbots to password-less account sign-ins, we’re sure that this is not the last update from the ongoing event.

Apart from the food and Oculus-frenzy crowd, Facebook had a lot to share with developers. One of the key innovations is Messenger Bots. Yup. They’re here. Chatbots in Facebook Messenger will allow businesses to communicate and reach out to customers in a much-more real-time fashion.

“People love to interact with businesses within Messenger,” said David Marcus, VP of Messaging Products at Facebook, “The future we’re going to build will be even more exciting.”

The Facebook Messenger platform now lets developers program bots for the app using a send and receive API. Although all the communication will be in the identity of the business, the bots will offer assistance to a user by sending and receiving text messages, images, locations, products, services, buy buttons, offers, and more. Users can also purchase products and services using the bot.

“In order to build a great experience, you need a combination of UI and conversation. We think the combination of UI and conversation is what is going to work,” Marcus said.

Many software companies already have fully-functional bots on the platform. Some include Hipmunk, CNN, eBay, Staples, Salesforce, HealthTap, 1-800 Flowers and Disney. The Facebook send/receive APIs are live today for developers to access. Like our news report? Read more at www.bit.ly/q3newsblog.

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