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Syed Rizwan Farook (left) with the model of the phone he’s alleged to have used – An iPhone 5C

Israeli software experts are reportedly behind the FBI’s attempts to hack into the iPhone used by San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook, amid U.S. government attempts to force Apple to unlock it.

Cellebrite, the Israeli firm specialising in mobile forensic software, was at the centre of reports in Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, which said it was behind “third party” efforts to retrieve data hidden on the phone.

News of Israeli involvement comes as the U.S. Justice Department dramatically postponed a court hearing in California, where it is seeking to force tech giant Apple to write software that would allow investigators to guess the pass-code. Currently, Apple software locks the device after ten failed attempts.

Cellebrite, a subsidiary of Japan’s Sun Corp, refused to comment, while the Justice Department designated the mystery hacker’s attempts “classified”.