An Israeli-based tech company, Cellebrite, has developed software which claims to unlock every iPhone model developed (including those on iOS 11), which reports state is being sold to various government agencies worldwide.
The news is a notable breakthrough for American law enforcement agencies – Apple infamously refused to provide the FBI the passcode to a then-suspect of the 2016 San Bernardino shootings – however is a security concern for iPhone users.
According to Forbes, Cellebrite is the US government’s preferred vendor for unlocking mobile phones, with the company touting its new software can unlock even the recently released iPhone X.
Cellebrite has thus far not released a public announcement concerning the news.
Cellebrite’s marketing literature for its Advanced Unlocking and Extraction Services, however, includes capabilities for “Apple iOS devices and operating systems, including iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPad Pro and iPod touch, running iOS 5 to iOS 11”.
The news may be particularly disruptive to Apple, who previously announced iOS 11 included protections against forced unlocks used by many US police agencies.
Some sources claim Apple may have, or is amidst, patching the vulnerabilities in recent patch updates.
However, a leaked search warrant from Forbes alleges America’s Homeland Security Investigations Grand Rapids labs may have already used Cellebrite technology to unlock and access the contents of a suspect’s iPhone X.