Cellebrite Stories February 2

When Apple refused to compromise iOS security last year and unlock the iPhone 5c belonging to the San Bernardino shooter, the FBI turned to an Israeli mobile forensics firm called Cellebrite to find a way in to the encrypted iPhone. Now Motherboard reports that a hacker has released files allegedly from Cellebrite that demonstrate how cracking tools can’t be kept private.

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Cellebrite Stories November 4, 2016

The Indian government has struck a deal to buy the technology Israel-based Cellebrite used to gain access to the iPhone in the San Bernardino shooting case, reports the Economic Times. The FBI was reported to have paid Cellebrite close to $1M to access the phone in the high-profile case resulting in a court battle with Apple and a Congressional hearing.

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Cellebrite Stories April 14, 2016

The FBI has so far been ambivalent about whether or not it will reveal to Apple the method used to access the San Bernardino iPhone, but a Reuters report suggests that the agency may not even know – or have the legal right to disclose it if it does.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that it was freelance hackers, and not Cellebrite, who sold the FBI the tool used to access the phone. But the group may not have revealed the vulnerability on which it was based, and the government process that decides which vulnerabilities to share with companies does not apply in this case …

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Cellebrite Stories April 13, 2016

 

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Unnamed sources cited by the Washington Post contradict the widely-held belief that it was Israel-based mobile forensics company Cellebrite which helped the FBI hack into the locked San Bernardino iPhone. The report say that the agency was instead approached by a group of freelance hackers who revealed an iPhone passcode vulnerability to the FBI in return for a one-time fee.

The FBI cracked a San Bernardino terrorist’s phone with the help of professional hackers who discovered and brought to the bureau at least one previously unknown software flaw, according to people familiar with the matter […]

The researchers, who typically keep a low profile, specialize in hunting for vulnerabilities in software and then in some cases selling them to the U.S. government. They were paid a one-time flat fee for the solution … 

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Cellebrite Stories April 12, 2016

A proposed bill now in committee in the New York State Senate could give NY police officers the ability to plug smartphones into a ‘textalyzer’ following a motor vehicle accident. The device would read data from the phone to determine whether or not the driver had been texting or otherwise using the phone at the time of the crash.

ArsTechnica reports that Cellebrite, the Israeli company believed to have cracked the San Bernardino iPhone, is developing the technology required for the checks. Such checks without a warrant would normally violate the Fourth Amendment right to privacy, but Cellebrite believes it has a solution to that …

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Cellebrite Stories April 1, 2016

The American Civil Liberties Union has accused the FBI of gambling with cybersecurity by failing to disclose to Apple the method used to access the San Bernardino iPhone, reports the WSJ.

Chris Soghoian, principal technologist at the ACLU, said the FBI is facing “a million-dollar question, and really what it comes down to is, does the FBI prioritize its own surveillance needs, or does it prioritize cybersecurity.’’

The longer the FBI keeps the security flaw to itself, he said, “the more they are gambling that no other entity will discover this flaw.’’ 

A former FBI official said that the agency’s decision on whether or not to reveal the method would likely depend on how many iPhone models it is able to unlock …

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