The news that police could unlock any iPhone using one device hit the internet back in March. The GrayKey device can unlock even Apple’s latest secure device in a matter of minutes. The GrayKey device is super simple to use making it ideal for law enforcement agencies to implement.
The process starts by plugging in one or two iPhones into GrayKey for two minutes which presumably loads some sort of software. After two minutes, the iPhone is unplugged and left to sit for up to two hours. The iPhone will then power back on to a black screen which serves up the passcode and other data.
Once the passcode is displayed and recorded, the iPhone can be rebooted and the passcode used to unlock the interface. The two-hour waiting process is for iPhones with 4-digit passcodes. Those with six-digit passcodes can still be cracked but the person cracking it may have to wait up to 3-days while the software does its job. GrayKey can unlock any iPhone even those that are disabled.
Now, Motherboard is reporting that law enforcement agencies all over the country are starting to purchase these devices.
Police forces and federal agencies around the country have bought relatively cheap tools to unlock up-to-date iPhones and bypass their encryption, according to a Motherboard investigation based on several caches of internal agency documents, online records, and conversations with law enforcement officials. Many of the documents were obtained by Motherboard using public records requests.
As part of the investigation, Motherboard found:
- Regional police forces, such as the Maryland State Police and Indiana State Police, are procuring a technology called ‘GrayKey’ which can break into iPhones, including the iPhone X running the latest operating system iOS 11.
- Local police forces, including Miami-Dade County Police, have also indicated that they may have bought the equipment.
- Other forces, including the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, have seemingly not bought GrayKey, but have received quotations from the company selling the technology, called Grayshift.
- Emails show the Secret Service is planning to buy at least half a dozen GrayKey boxes to unlock iPhones.
- The State Department has already bought the technology, and the Drug Enforcement Administration is interested in doing so.
Motherboard has a complete and comprehensive investigative report on their website about the GrayKey device and their findings. If you’re interested and have the time, it is worth a read.Source: Motherboard