Remember the San Bernardino iPhone 5c the FBI wanted to crack into and finally secured the services of security firm Cellebrite to do it? It turns out that Cellebrite has been hacked and some of the tools used to crack the San Bernardino iPhone have been leaked online. This is exactly why Tim Cook refused to help the FBI in cracking the encryption on that iPhone. Apple feared the tools created to do this could eventually be discovered and leaked, which would leave many users vulnerable. The data stolen from Cellebrite’s servers not only shows the iPhone cracking methods but shows the company has been employed by other governments like Russia, Turkey, and the UAE.
Now the hacker responsible has publicly released a cache of files allegedly stolen from Cellebrite relating to Android and BlackBerry devices, and older iPhones, some of which may have been copied from publicly available phone cracking tools.
“It’s important to demonstrate that when you create these tools, they will make it out. History should make that clear,” they continued.
In their README, the hacker notes much of the iOS-related code is very similar to that used in the jailbreaking scene—a community of iPhone hackers that typically breaks into iOS devices and release its code publicly for free.
While the tools and methods leaked from Cellebrite servers are for older iPhones, that doesn’t mean potential hackers can’t use those methods to find new ways to crack newer iPhones. It also means those still using an older iPhone could be vulnerable to an attack. Tim Cook and Apple are probably very glad they didn’t assist the FBI even when they were being strong-armed by the agency.
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Last Updated on February 3, 2017.