Phone-cracking software can unlock almost any iPhone on the market
Cellebrite is an Israel-based company, which claims to develop a phone-cracking software that can unlock any iPhone running iOS 11 and older versions. This software is not only a threat to Apple customers but also a dramatic change for law enforcement.
The subsidiary company of Japan's Sun Corporation manufactures mobile software for data extraction, transfer, and analysis for its customers and even U.S government. According to the official report, Cellebrite can hack nearly every iPhone:
Apple iOS devices and operating systems, including iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPad Pro and iPod touch, running iOS 5 to iOS 11.
Additionally, it was said that the phone-cracking software could unlock iPhone 8, and since the security of an iPhone X works in a pretty similar way, the firm could break into both smartphones. Despite the fact that iOS 11 was only released in September 2017, the vulnerability found by Cellebrite must be significant.
The company found a way to unlock Android devices as well
Unfortunately, Android users should also be aware that the software can unlock their devices as well. That includes Samsung's Galaxy and Note series, HTC, LG, Motorola, Google Nexus, Huawei, Alcatel, ZTE, etc. The report by Cellebrite claims:
Cellebrite Advanced Unlocking Services is the industry's only solution for overcoming many types of complex locks on market-leading devices.
The capabilities of the phone-cracking software allow to fully recover information on third-party applications, downloaded emails, geolocation and system logs. The company also adds the following:
This can determine or disable the PIN, pattern, password screen locks or passcodes.
Such Advanced Unlocking & Extraction Services by Cellebrite are relatively inexpensive — just $1 500 per unlock. Note that the firm might also sell the vulnerability for $1 million to Apple or include it in the software which they are selling to their customers. However, it would allow Apple to discover the bug and figure out a way to fix it.
Cellebrite Advanced Unlocking Services are available for law enforcement agencies
The company identifies its purpose — provide digital footprints of the criminals to help make breakthroughs in major investigations. Taking into consideration the infamous San Bernardino mass shooting where Apple refused to unlock the iPhone of the terrorist, Cellebrite can genuinely make significant changes in law enforcement agencies.
It already has many U.S intelligence agencies in their customers' list, including FBI, Secret Service, DHS, etc. Although, civil rights activists have started to raise concerns about the violation of Americans' rights by using this technology. Adam Schwartz, Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney, has said the following:
All of us who're walking around with this vulnerability are in danger.