Apple May Have Stopped Cops from Unlocking iPhones

Apple does not take kindly to law-enforcement agencies circumventing its device protections. And now the company may have shut down at least one workaround.

Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 12, reportedly blocks the GrayKey iPhone-unlocking boxes used by many police departments, Forbes is reporting, citing “sources familiar” with GrayKey technology.

If this is true, the defeat of GrayKey removes a useful tool from ordinary police agencies’ digital-forensics arsenal, and may slow down or kill many ongoing investigations. (The National Security Agencies and other intelligence agencies presumably have other ways of getting into iPhones.)

In March, Forbes discovered that an American company named Grayshift had devised a way to brute-force iOS lockscreen passcodes with a relatively inexpensive device called GrayKey, which is a small box with two Lightning cable poking out.

Grayshift sells GrayKey boxes to law-enforcement agencies in North America and the U.K. to aid them in their investigations. A $15,000 GrayKey is good for up to 300 iPhone unlocks; for $30,000, you get unlimited unlocks.

That may seem expensive, but it’s a lot cheaper and easier than competing technology offered by Israeli firm Cellebrite, which charges $5,000 for a single iPhone unlock and generally requires cops to send the iPhone to a Cellebrite facility. With GrayKey, police can run the unlocking procedure themselves. ..Read More..

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