Skip to main content

Israeli company claims it can unlock any iPhone up to iOS 12.3 for police

Israel-based forensics firm Cellebrite rolled out a system that is capable of unlocking any iPhone,  iPad or high-end Android device, renewing the delicate dance between the technology to extract data from locked smartphones and the manufacturers that promise privacy to their customers.

Cellebrite is not at all shy in announcing a new version of its Universal Forensic Extraction Device, or UFED, named UFED Premium. The service, which was created to help law enforcement in unlocking and extracting data from locked iOS and Android services, will be sold as an “on-premises tool,” which means that the police will be able to buy the hacking device and then use it by themselves, however they want.

Cellebrite is proud to introduce #UFED Premium! An exclusive solution for law enforcement to unlock and extract data from all iOS and high-end Android devices. To learn more, click here:

— Cellebrite (@Cellebrite_UFED) June 14, 2019

In the official website for UFED Premium, Cellebrite said that the system will allow the police to gain access to third-party app data, chat conversations, saved emails and attachments, deleted content, and more. The company will be able to unlock iPhones and iPads running iOS 7 to iOS 12.3, as well as high-end Android smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 to Galaxy S9 models, and devices from Huawei, LG, Motorola, and Xiaomi.

No other law enforcement contractor is capable of unlocking such a wide range of iOS and Android devices, or at least not publicly. Cellebrite, in comparison, was more secretive in its previous involvements with law enforcement.

Cellebrite is believed to be the firm that the FBI asked to unlock the iPhone 5c owned by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the killers in the San Bernardino shooting of December 2015. The authorities demanded Apple create an iOS backdoor to extract data from the smartphone, but the company refused to compromise the security of its mobile operating system. The FBI then asked for help from Cellebrite, though there were conflicting reports about who was actually able to crack open the iPhone 5c.

Apple is serious in their efforts to block tools that unlock iPhones, as shown by the changes made to iOS 12 that prevented the GrayKey password cracker from working.

UFED Premium may unlock iPhones and iPads up to iOS 12.3, while GrayKey is only starting to work with certain iOS 12 versions. iPhone owners who would like to secure protection from such unlocking services should always update to the latest iOS version — iOS 13 is launching in September alongside the 2019 iPhones.

Editors' Recommendations

Aaron Mamiit
Aaron received a NES and a copy of Super Mario Bros. for Christmas when he was 4 years old, and he has been fascinated with…
Apple may release a completely new type of iPhone in 2025
iPhone 15 Pro Max laying outside in a park.

The iPhone 16 isn’t even out yet, but that hasn’t stopped rumors about the iPhone 17 from swirling already. One of the latest comes from The Information, and it claims that a thinner iPhone 17 may be released in 2025 as a completely new addition to the lineup. It’s reported to be code-named D23 internally, and it’s expected to be a major redesign — potentially as big of a redesign as the iPhone X was in 2017.

The main changes for the D23 iPhone are a very thin body and a smaller cutout in the display. There’s also some talk that Apple may replace the Dynamic Island with a pinhole cutout, and we may see that as soon as the anticipated iPhone 16 launch this fall. Other changes might include moving the rear camera from the upper-left corner to the top center. The screen could fall somewhere between the 6.1 inches of the iPhone 16 Pro and 6.9 inches of the iPhone 16 Pro Max.

Read more
The iPhone 16 Pro Max may get a very important battery upgrade
An iPhone 15 Pro Max laying face-down outside, showing the Natural Titanium color.

iPhone 16 dummy models Sonny Dickson / X

The iPhone 16 still has many months to go before its anticipated announcement in the fall, but we’ve already gotten a slew of rumors, leaks, and speculation about its specs and capabilities. One of the latest rumors about the iPhone 16 Pro Max comes from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and it regards a new battery Apple is putting into the device.

Read more
The iPhone 16 Pro Max could set a new record for the iPhone
iPhone 16 Pro Max dummy unit next to a iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The iPhone 16 Pro Max (left) and iPhone 15 Pro Max ZONEofTech

We have good news if you're hoping for a larger iPhone this fall. The iPhone 16 Pro Max will have a significantly bigger display than the iPhone 15 Pro Max — at least according to the latest leak.

Read more