The bureau paid a one-time flat fee to professional hackers who "discovered and brought to the bureau at least one previously unknown software flaw," sources tell the Washington Post. With that knowledge, the hackers were able to create hardware that the FBI used to crack the phone's four-digit personal identification number "without triggering a security feature that would have erased all the data," reports the Post.
The fix only works on iPhone 5Cs running iOS 9, according to FBI Director James B. Comey. Due to the assistance of the "white hat" hackers, the bureau did not end up needing to hire Israeli cybersecurity firm Cellebrite, as previously reported. MB