A US government contractor claims to have found a way to be able to unlock every single iPhone.
Israeli technology firm Cellebrite - which has been at the centre of iPhone cracking claims before - says that it can help prosecutors get into any smartphone on the market, including Apple's last iPhones and the supposedly security hardened Android devices marketed by BlackBerry
The company first made headlines in 2016 when it was contracted by the FBI to assist it in cases. It managed to help officers get into a locked iPhone.
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 Apple 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 its existing marketing material claims 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.
He did not approach the company about the iPhone X, but the handset uses the same security software as the 8, so it is highly likely that the firm would be able to crack that handset as well.
But last year, the Cellebrite admitted that it is becoming increasingly harder for it to unlock handsets, despite its recent claims.
"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."
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