For Sale: Phone Hacking Tool, Lightly Used

The Cellebrite Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED) is a high-end tool used by law enforcement to crack mobile phones. A new unit will run you about $6,000. But as reported by Thomas Brewster at Forbes, the hacking community has discovered that with a newer model now going on sale, older Cellebrite UFEDs are hitting the secondhand market for cheap, sometimes for as little as $100, meaning that anyone — including you! — could pick one up and crack open a smartphone even if you don’t have the password or biometric data to unlock it.

Cellebrite gained notice last year after it claimed to be able to crack open iPhones for cheap, a task that once cost the FBI $900,000. It’s also notable for its refusal to divulge the exploits it uses to bypass passwords: typically, those who find an exploit in a phone’s software or hardware let the company know about the weakness. Cellebrite, however, sees not doing so as giving it a competitive advantage.

As you can see in the video from Hacker Fantastic below, using a UFED doesn’t require a high level of technical sophistication — part of Cellebrite’s pitch is that it can “equip frontline personnel with intuitive, forensically sound tools to quickly extract and analyze digital evidence,” which means you don’t need to force someone to learn command-line language. ..Read More..

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