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Israeli firm hired by the FBI now claims to have the ability to unlock any iPhone – which is unheard of

iPhones they are safe and basically impenetrable. This is the maxim that Apple loves to repeat at every opportunity and, being realistic, for our everyday lives and that do not involve federal crimes and acts of terrorism (so I hope at least), it is true: we will probably never have to worry about our devices being hacked if they are lost or stolen while locked with a password, our fingerprints or our face.

There is another sphere, far above our everyday life, however, where things are much more complicated, I speak, of course, of the iPhones of criminal suspects that are recovered and can serve as evidence to solve cases and punish culprits.

Everyone certainly remembers the thorny iPhone 5c case of one of the San Bernardino snipers, which sparked a very public fight between the FBI and Apple, the first asking a company to create a special version of iOS that would give them access to all iPhones in existence, even if blocked, and the second refusing repeatedly, stating that the creation of something like this would set a dangerous precedent and cause disaster if it got in the wrong hands.

In the end, the FBI quieted down after being able to unlock the iPhone with help from Apple, but from Cellebrite, an Israeli data extraction company. At that time, it was believed that only that specific iPhone model had a vulnerability that allowed the firm to invade it, but now, apparently, the story is different: according to a report today by Forbes, Cellebrite is disclosing to its customers that it can access any Apple mobile device running iOS 11.

Password being entered on an iPhone

The firm has not officially announced the news to Forbes found the information through anonymous sources, who obtained it through contacts with representatives of large companies and governments in some countries, who are the usual customers of the Israelis, nor did it put the functionality in any of its products intended for the final consumer, for example obvious reasons: by releasing the tool to the public's hands, Apple would fix whatever iOS vulnerability they discovered in seconds; keeping the breach a secret, they can profit a lot until the problem is fixed (if ever, someday).

Warrants obtained by Forbes show that one iPhone X, belonging to an individual involved in an arms trafficking case, was received by Cellebrite on November 20 and returned to the FBI two weeks later, on December 5. a iPhone 8, according to one of the sources in the report, it was also successfully unlocked by the Israelis, that is, although no one knows at the moment what vulnerability is being exploited by the firm or where it comes from, apparently no iPhone escapes the intrusion techniques. her.

The news is obviously important for a number of reasons. Never before has a company declared itself capable of unlocking any iOS device, regardless of model or version; with that, legal agencies and governments around the world can take advantage of the skill for noble purposes or perhaps others that are not so noble. That is, of course, not to mention the possibility that the tool could fall into the wrong hands and generate a security nightmare for Apple and its consumers, but this, of course, is a very unlikely prospect.

As I said at the beginning of the text, these are news that will certainly never affect us unless you give reasons for the government to spend thousands of dollars to unlock your phone, which seems unlikely to me. Still, here's the warning: as much as Apple likes to boast about the security of its ecosystem and makes real and sincere efforts to strengthen it with each update, we are never totally safe in the digital world, on any platform. So, let us keep our eyes open.

via Apple World Today