The Israeli forensics firm and law enforcement contractor Cellebrite has announced a tool allowing law enforcement to unlock and extract data from all iOS and high-end Android devices.

The tool known as the Universal Forensic Extraction Device or UFED, can “bypass or determine locks and perform a full file system extraction” on any iOS device and high-end Android devices. UFED and UFED Premium is targeted at law enforcement – which can allow officers to unlock devices of those who are linked to a crime.

The tool will allow law enforcement to gain access to:

Third-party app data;
Chat conversations;
Downloaded emails and email attachment;
Deleted content and much more.
iPhones and iPads running iOS 7 to iOS 12.3, high-end Android smartphones including Samsung Galaxy S6 to Galaxy S9 models, and devices from Huawei, LG, Motorola and Xiamoi, will all be able to be unlocked.

It is believed that Cellebrite is the firm that the FBI used to unlock the iPhone owned by one of the killers in the San Bernardino shooting in 2015.

Apple has been implementing new security measures which resulted in GrayKey, an iPhone-unlocking tool, no longer being able to break the passcodes of any iPhone running iOS 12 or above. It has been advised that iPhone owners should regularly update their iOS to secure protection.

Sarah Edwards, a forensics researcher for the security training groups the SANS Institute said:

“This will allow investigators access to newer and updated devices that they didn’t have access to before.”

The founder of the New York-based security firm Trail of Bits, Dan Guido had stated that it was highly likely that Cellebrite was able to unlock iOS 12.3 prior to the announcement:

“It’s well understood that this is the business Cellebrite is working in.

“It was only a matter of time until they solved the problem, and then told people about they solved it, which is what we’re seeing now.”

Apple and Google have yet to comment although Apple will be releasing iOS 13 in September, with a beta arriving next month – which could cause issues for Cellebrite.

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