[Ed. – This issue has come up because Apple says it could access auto-saved data from the phone, if the password hadn’t been reset. Reportedly, whoever reset it can’t remember what the password was. This password would give access to the iCloud user account; it’s not the same thing as the PIN that would allow viewing data through the phone itself. In any case, the county seems to be saying that the password was reset at the FBI’s request. This aspect of things sounds like a comedy of errors rather than anything nefarious.]
The Apple executives said the company had been in regular discussions with the government since early January, and that it proposed four different ways to recover the information the government is interested in without building a backdoor. One of those methods would have involved connecting the iPhone to a known Wi-Fi network and triggering an iCloud backup that might provide the FBI with information stored to the device between the October 19th and the date of the incident.
Apple sent trusted engineers to try that method, the executives said, but they were unable to do it. It was then that they discovered that the Apple ID password associated with the iPhone had been changed sometime after the terrorist’s death.
The FBI has claimed that the password was changed by someone at the San Bernardino Health Department. Friday night, however, things took a further turn when the San Bernardino County’s official Twitter account stated, “The County was working cooperatively with the FBI when it reset the iCloud password at the FBI’s request.”