Judge: Apple must help US hack San Bernardino killer’s phone

Apple store
FILE - In this Thursday, May 9, 2013 file photo, people walk near the Apple store in Santa Monica, Calif. Even after its recent slump, Apple's market value is still two thirds bigger than Microsoft, the next biggest publicly-traded company in the U.S. That means that when Apple moves, so does the market. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. magistrate has ordered Apple to help the Obama administration hack into an iPhone belonging to one of the shooters in San Bernardino, California.

The ruling by Sheri Pym on Tuesday requires Apple to supply highly specialized software the FBI can load onto the phone to cripple a security encryption feature that erases data after too many unsuccessful unlocking attempts.

Federal prosecutors told the judge they can’t access a county-owned work phone used by Syed Farook because they don’t know his passcode.

By default, Apple has encrypted its iPhones to allow them only to be accessed using a passcode.

Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people in a Dec. 2 shooting at a holiday luncheon for Farook’s co-workers. The couple later died in a police gun battle.

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