Israeli security firm Cellebrite, who is believed to have aided the FBI in unlocking the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, claims it is now able to unlock devices running iOS 11. This includes the latest devices that run the mobile operating system, including the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
The Israeli firm, a subsidiary of Japan’s Sun Corporation, hasn’t made any major public announcement about its new iOS capabilities. But Forbes was told by sources (who asked to remain anonymous as they weren’t authorized to talk on the matter) that in the last few months the company has developed undisclosed techniques to get into iOS 11 and is advertising them to law enforcement and private forensics folk across the globe. Indeed, the company’s literature for its Advanced Unlocking and Extraction Services offering now notes the company can break the security of “Apple iOS devices and operating systems, including iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPad Pro and iPod touch, running iOS 5 to iOS 11.” Separately, a source in the police forensics community told Forbes he’d been told by Cellebrite it could unlock the iPhone 8. He believed the same was most probably true for the iPhone X, as security across both of Apple’s newest devices worked in much the same way.
A Forbes source indicates Homeland Security was able to successfully unlock an iPhone X to search the data stored on the device, back in November 2017. The report indicates Cellebrite technology was likely used in that instance.
Cellebrite promotes their “Advanced Unlocking” service as the “industry’s only solution” for unlocking recently manufactured mobile devices, including both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. The service is available only to law enforcement. The service unlocks the device, allowing the law enforcement agencies to examine the data on the device themselves.
Although it was reported that the FBI paid Cellebrite $900,000 to unlock the San Bernardino device, the Forbes report indicates the unlocking process is much cheaper now, costing as little as $1,500 per device.