Indian Government Purchasing Cellebrite Technology Used to Bypass Locked iPhones

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    India's Forensic Science Laboratory is in negotiations to purchase the security bypassing technology used by Israeli mobile software developer Cellebrite, the company that the FBI enlisted to help unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter earlier in the year (via The Economic Times).

    The FBI needed Cellebrite's "mobile forensics solutions" to bypass the lock on the iPhone 5c in question, a method which Apple vehemently opposed throughout the lengthy public spat between it and the U.S. Justice Department.

    Cellebrite has worked with government and law enforcement agencies "around the world," and the FBI's interaction with the company was reported earlier in the year to cost somewhere around $1 million. The terms of India's purchasing agreement with Cellebrite were not laid out, but an anonymous official from the Forensic Science Laboratory said that the Indian government is expected to get the unlocking technology fairly soon.
    As the FSL official mentioned, after its purchase of Cellebrite India intends to become the "global hub" for cases similar to the one between Apple and the FBI that occurred this year, since it will now own the "entire tool" to open encrypted smartphones. It's mentioned, although not in much detail, that requests the FSL receives by other institutes to unlock a smartphone "will be entertained at a fee."

    It's not clear how India's purchase will be different from anyone else's, or what would lead the country to become a "global hub" when others can also seek out help from Cellebrite.

    Despite the FBI eventually finding nothing of importance in the San Bernardino iPhone, the political and technological climate surrounding the case will continue because encryption is "essential tradecraft" of terrorists, according to FBI director James Comey. His prediction came true last month when the agency began looking into the "legal and technical options" for entering the iPhone of the culprit behind the Minnesota mall stabbings in mid-September.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: Indian Government Purchasing Cellebrite Technology Used to Bypass Locked iPhones
  2. dwaltwhit macrumors 6502


    Oct 25, 2013
    The arms race saga continues. But what do you do? If the private and public sectors aren't adversarial, they may be colluding. If they aren't allies, they might stifle creativity and innovation.
  3. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    Countless governments own this tech and have for years.

    This isn't news.
  4. dearfriendx macrumors 6502


    Jun 3, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Very much non-news. Would be more interesting if the tech could crack the newer/newest iPhones with the Secure Element/Touch ID.
  5. 69Mustang macrumors 603


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    The private and public sector have always been allied and adversarial. Heck often at the same time, with the same companies.:eek: It just depends on the circumstances.
  6. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Jun 19, 2013
    If this goes through.....Are there any odds on how long it will be before this tech hits the streets
  7. norrismantooth macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    It's news if the Indian government decides to make the service a subscription, and lock every current owner of the technology out of it. Then it becomes ransomeware. "We need your service." "Pay us $1million to use it this one time."
  8. killawat macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2014
    One can download a trial copy of the software if you prove (through work, certification etc) that you are a security professional who would likely have the budget for this sort of thing. I don't know what it entails or even if it contains iPhone kits.

    Sounds like they may jack up the price when they get it in their hands. Careful with that, there are always other to get info. Cellebrite has good tools. I mean, they may be used for what I consider inappropriate purposes, but the tools work. Sell on customer service.
  9. now i see it macrumors 68030

    Jan 2, 2002
    Bottom line: If a government sponsored entity wants the data on your iPhone bad enough, they'll get it.
    If a common thief steals your iphone or you lose it, your data is secure... If you have it set up to erase after 10 login attempts
  10. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    That's a great business model. Kudos to them.
  11. b0nd18t macrumors 6502


    Apr 9, 2012
    If it's relatively costly and difficult to crack the phone using this method, I'm not sure I really have a problem with it. It isn't easy, done remotely, or likely to be used by anyone outside government. That's my opinion on it, but maybe I'm wrong
  12. macs4nw macrumors 601


    Only if they have exclusive rights to the technology in question, which is not clear from the article:

    "It's not clear how India's purchase will be different from anyone else's, or what would lead the country to become a 'global hub' when others can also seek out help from Cellebrite".

    And whether or not the Indian government actually has exclusivity, this tech will likely somehow be in the hands of everyone and their uncle, including the bad guys, before you can utter the word "cracked".

    I suspect the security of our Data will lamentably be a continued race of one-upmanship between innovators and interlopers.
  13. Robert.Walter macrumors 65816

    Jul 10, 2012
    Regardless of whether it is new or is or is not news, it's still creepy to read about it happening.
  14. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    I say it will be their competitive prices and compelling website ;)
  15. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
  16. WhoDaKat macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2006
    Does this even work on new iPhones? I thought when the FBI used it, they could only do so because it was on a 5C?
  17. Kabeyun macrumors 68000


    Mar 27, 2004
    Eastern USA

    I saw an article from April that said Cellebrite was "close" to succeeding on an iPhone 6 running iOS 9. We're of course up to iPhone 7 and iOS 10.
  18. macs4nw macrumors 601


    Not sure what you mean.....
  19. Thunderhawks Suspended

    Feb 17, 2009
    Just wondering if they should spend that money on this and would be better off to educate people about birth control. 18% = 1.27 billion (1 in 6) of all the people in the world live in India.

    Hard on the heels of China.

    Projected to b 1.6 billion by 2050.

    No way they have the resources or jobs for everybody.
  20. joueboy macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2008
    Plot twist: The company doesn't exist, governments conspired to cover Apple from helping unlocking the phone.
  21. pdaholic macrumors 65816


    Jun 22, 2011
    Somebody must have watched Hellraiser this Halloween! Sounds similar, but the demons were cenobites and the box was the "lament configuration" or something like that. Great franchise back in the day.
  22. JosephAW macrumors 68000


    May 14, 2012
    There now, you happy? Now let them sell the iPhone 4S devices in India.
  23. 6836838 Suspended

    Jul 18, 2011
  24. Michael Scrip macrumors 603

    Mar 4, 2011
    My passcode is an alpha-numeric password of unknown length to those attempting to break into my iPhone 6S Plus.

    Will they be successful?

Share This Page