3 Theories About How the FBI May Open a Locked iPhone of a San Bernardino Shooter

Apple logoBy Steve Neavling

There are several theories about how the FBI will unlock an iPhone without the help of Apple.

What we know is, the FBI canceled a court hearing on the case Monday after saying an “outside party” may be able to help access the iPhone’s information.

Fortune reports three theories.

Digital forensic researcher Jonathan Zdziarski said the FBI might be using a technique known as NAND mirroring, which would make copies of the phone’s memory chip. That would make it possible for the FBI to try enter the password as many times as it takes to unlock the phone.

“This technique is kind of like cheating at Super Mario Bros. with a save-game, allowing you to play the same level over and over after you keep dying,” Zdziarski writes. “Only instead of playing a game, they’re trying different pin combinations.”

Zdziarski said the FBI may also block the phone’ system that counts failed password attempts.

A third option requires removing the casing on the phones processor chip using lasers or acid, enabling officials to pull the password off the chip with probes.

The FBI said it needs about two weeks to try to open the phone.

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