Apple is known for its strong stand on privacy. In fact, it is even one of the selling points for its devices specifically for the iPhone. However, it seems like it’s not the case anymore.
According to Israeli digital security company Cellebrite, it can unlock and extract full file system data from iPhones and almost all Android devices using its software and hardware Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED) Premium.
Exclusively sold to law enforcers in specific areas, the company has claimed that this new update is currently the only on-premise software available in the market that can hack iPhones and other Android smartphones. This means that law enforcers can use the software independently without bringing the handset physically to Cellebrite.
With UFED Premium, an iPhone’s passcode can be identified or even bypassed. It can also access the device’s folders, chats, emails, browsing history or third-party apps. This is not limited to iPhones. According to its website, it has “support for Apple devices running iOS 7 to iOS 12.3”, which makes iPads just as vulnerable.
Aside from iPhones, Cellebrite said that they can do the same and even more with most Android smartphones. The tool supports high-end Samsung devices from Galaxy S6-S9 models as well as devices from Huawei, Xiaomi, Motorola and LG. Aside from unlocking the phone and accessing its files, it can also recover deleted items in an Android phone.
It is not the first time that Cellebrite had this kind of technology. Back in 2016, the company was believed to help law enforcers in unlocking the iPhone SE of one of the suspects in the San Bernardino case, a terrorist attack that killed 14 people in California. The case became an issue of privacy and gathered worldwide attention when Apple firmly declined the FBI’s request to give access to the unlocked device. Apple argues that such action can put all other iPhones at risk.
Cellebrite, however, did not mention if UFED Premium can be used for the new iOS 12.3.2, nor did it include in the list the latest Samsung’s Galaxy S10 line. This still shows that some encryptions are difficult to crack down.
Let’s wait and see if Apple’s latest update will address the issue.
As of this writing, UFED Premium is not available in the Philippines.
Source: Apple Insider