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Phone-cracking firm claims it can unlock any iPhone running iOS 11

ISRAELI TECHNOLOGY FIRM Cellebrite claims that it can help prosecutors get into any smartphone on the market, including any iPhone running iOS 11 and BlackBerry’s supposedly security hardened Android devices. 

Cellebrite first made headlines back in 2015 for helping the FBI hack into an encrypted iPhone 5C handset.

Now, according to a report in Forbes, the company claims to have found a method to bypass any Apple device running iOS 11. Sources told Forbes that the company worked with the Department of Homeland Security in November 2017 to crack the iPhone X.

Although the company has not boasted publicly about these claims, a source close to the firm alleges that it can hack into virtually any iPhone model.

It is thought that the contractor is quietly advertising its phone-cracking capabilities to law enforcement and other government agencies around the world.

Some of Cellebrite’s marketing materials claim that the company can crack “Apple iOS devices and operating systems, including iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPad Pro and iPod touch, running iOS 5 to iOS 11”.

This particular source, who has chosen to remain unnamed, contacted Forbes when Cellebrite told him it could unlock his iPhone 8.

This comes despite Cellebrite admitting that year that it’s becoming “increasingly harder” for it to unlock handsets.

Cyberscoop managed to get access to a presentation where Cellebrite technology director Dan Embury spoke about these concerns.

Related: iPhone hacking outfit Cellebrite gets, er, hacked

“The trend over the last few years is it’s getting much too easy for device manufacturers to implement very secure encryption and lock mechanisms without impacting the device performance,” he said.

“In the past the phone would run really slow [or] the battery wouldn’t be as long lasting. But now, with modern processors, large amounts of RAM and flash memory as well running a lot quicker, it’s very straightforward for the strongest military-grade encryption to be put into devices used by the general consumer base out there.

“It’s as simple as a four-digit password that could thwart investigative efforts trying to gain access to valuable evidence on a device.” µ

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