According to foreign media reports, a company in Israel called Cellebrite claims that it can bypass the security system running on iOS 11 and older iOS devices, unlocking all iOS 11 devices including the latest Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone X .
Insiders believe the company helped the FBI unlock an iPhone during a probe into the San Bernardino shootings.
According to Forbes reports, the company is said to be informing its customers that it has access to the devices running the iOS 11 system. The company sent a promotional document to law enforcement agencies claiming it could use its “advanced unlocking and advanced extraction”
(Advanced Unlocking and Advanced Extraction) service Access all devices running iOS 5 to iOS 11 including iPhone, iPad, iPad Pro, iPod touch, and more.
According to people familiar with the situation, the Department of Homeland Security successfully cracked an iPhone X when it searched for data in November 2017, most likely using Cellebrite’s technology. According to another person involved in the police forensics, the company told him that it can unlock the iPhone 8, and believe it can also unlock the iPhone X.
Cellebrite claims that its “Premium Unlock” service is the “industry’s only solution” to defeat the complex locks used on a variety of market-leading devices, including smartphones and tablets based on iOS and Android systems. This is a fee-based service that is provided only to law enforcement agencies, which unlocks equipment for government agencies and allows government agencies to extract their own data.
The Advanced Extract service is an alternative service that government agencies can choose to use to pull data if they can not get the data from the device by traditional means such as full hard disk encryption. The service retrieves complete file systems for clients, allowing customers to access email, app data, geolocation data, and other data without cracking or gaining access to superuser privileges for the operating system.
If Cellebrite is true, this means that government agencies like the FBI may be able to unlock any iOS device for a fee. It was said that Cellebrite paid the $ 900,000 service charge last time Cellebrite helped the FBI unlock the iPhone, but according to the company’s latest document, the unlocking process is relatively inexpensive and costs as little as $ 1,500 per device.
Forbes found in an arrest warrant that Cellebrite apparently used its technology to break iPhone X, the cell phone used by a suspect suspected of smuggling weapons. The cell phone was seized by the police when the suspect departed on November 20 and was later sent to a Cellebrite expert in the Homeland Security Investigations Grand Rapid Labs, In December 5 to extract the data in the phone.
The arrest warrant did not mention what data the DHS had found or how the data were extracted. The owner of the iPhone X is awaiting trial on July 31, and it is unclear whether the data extracted by DHS will be used in the trial of the case.
The Cellebrite’s ability to access iOS 11 devices was astonishing as Apple added some new security features to the operating system to make it even more difficult to crack. Including a SOS mode, iOS system into the mode, TouchID will be disabled, which can effectively prevent the police force the suspects to use fingerprints to unlock their iPhone.
It is unclear how Cellebrite breaks the iOS 11 line of defense, and such information is unlikely to be made public as it is almost certain that Apple will fix the security hole as soon as it becomes aware of such information. People familiar with the matter said the company has developed some new technology to crack, but taking into account Apple’s rapid response to fixing security flaws, which may be related to a vulnerability that has not been publicly disclosed.