The current version of the Apple system came out just a month ago.
Israeli company Cellebrite introduced UFED Premium – a new version of the tool that allows law enforcement to bypass the protection of iOS-devices. The company claims to be able to hack even devices on the current version of iOS 12.3.
Cellebrite is proud to introduce #UFED Premium! An exclusive solution for law enforcement to unlock and extract data from all iOS and high-end Android devices. To learn more, click here: https://t.co/WHsaDxzoXz pic.twitter.com/BSixEkyAuL— Cellebrite (@Cellebrite_UFED) 14 June 2019
“Cellebrite is proud to present UFED Premium – an exclusive solution for law enforcement that allows you to unlock and retrieve data from any iOS and the latest Android devices”
The Cellebrite website states that UFED Premium is able to unlock any device, starting with iOS 7 and up to iOS 12.3, which was released on May 13, 2019. Police will be able to access application data, chat rooms, email, attachments, deleted content and more. In addition, the company claims to be able to unlock and extract data from most of the latest Android smartphones, including Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, and LG.
As noted at Wired, so far no government contractor has publicly released a product that can be used so widely. Cellebrite itself calls its product “the only such solution.”
Unlike previous versions, UFED Premium will sell to sites in the form of a “local” tool. It will probably be a small device or a set of programs that will allow police and special services to bypass the protection of suspects’ smartphones. Previously, Cellebrite was afraid that Apple would close vulnerabilities in iOS, and demanded tosend iPhones to the office, where they were hacked and sent back.
Dan Guido, the founder of cybersecurity company Trail of Bits, believes that Cellebrite had learned how to unlock smartphones on iOS 12.3 much earlier, but only told about it now. He also noted that the company for the first time so openly told about the new version of the tool: before that, she tried to keep it in secret.
Cellebrite – not the only company engaged in circumventing the protection of iOS for special services, police and private detectives. At least since 2017, Grayshift has been selling the GrayKey device, which was connected to iPhones via a Lightning connector.
In the fall of 2018, Apple improved iOS security by making the tool almost useless for hacking into all devices on iOS 12 or newer. According to an expert interviewed by Wired, in June 2019, Grayshift developed tools for hacking some versions of the current system and just started working on unlocking Android smartphones.
Guaydo believes Cellebrite’s so public speaking is the result of competition between different companies offering similar services. In his opinion, speaking openly, the Israeli firm is trying to attract the attention of potential customers and increase market share.
The head of Trail of Bits also announced the danger of the proliferation of such tools in the form of “local” devices. He believes that Cellebrite might lose control of the unlock technique, and it will fall into the hands of criminals or authorities. In addition, some of the old devices of the company openly sell on eBay.
Firms Cellebrite and Grayshift are contractors of governments and special services. According to media reports, companies including provide services to the FSB and the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.