Cellebrite Claims It Can Unlock Any iOS Device

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Tools and techniques allowing law enforcement and intelligence agencies to help extract data from locked smartphones for uncovering evidence have mostly been kept in the dark, which meant the public is usually not aware of behind-the-scenes tussles between smartphone manufacturers introducing new technologies and security layers to protect customers' data on their smartphones and the efforts undertaken by security firms and criminal hackers to circumvent these measures.

Israeli forensics firm Cellebrite is responsible for creating such a tool - the Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED), and the security company now claims it can unlock nearly of all of the latest Apple and Android smart devices thanks to its latest update.

The new system developed by Cellebrite is an on-premise solution and can be bought by the concerned authorities to conduct the whole data extraction process themselves. The Israeli firm best known for helping the Federal Bureau of Investigation out of a jam by hacking an iPhone 5C central to the San Bernardino shooting case has revealed it can now hack any iPhone, running anything up to the latest version of iOS: 12.3.

The company says its Universal Forensic Extraction Device Premium (UFED Premium) supports Apple devices running iOS 7 to iOS 12.3 as well as high-end smartphones such as the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9, and devices from Xiaomi, Huawei, Motorola and LG.

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If the thought of the security on your smartphone being bypassed fills you with concern, keep in mind Cellebrite requires access to the physical device, markets its tools at law enforcement agencies, and charges for access to them.

The FBI demanded Apple create a special version of iOS, a sort of backdoor to access all the data stores in Farook's iPhone 5C.

With the system's help, the police will be able to get hold of third-party app data, chat conversations, saved emails and attachments, deleted content, and more. Apple CEO Tim Cook's refusal to build a backdoor to the iPhone started a national debate over user privacy versus national security.

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