Apple is looking forward to a very successful year overall with the announcement of iOS 13 and the upcoming iPhone 11. However, a company by the name of Cellebrite, notorious for its hacking capabilities regarding smartphones, has announced that it can hack into any and every iPhone device.
The Israeli forensics company has reported that it can break into any iPhone or iPad regardless of what version of the OS they are running. Apple has stated that there are about 1.4 Billion active devices as of 2019. With this news, all of the users of these devices are vulnerable and potentially in danger of being hacked. Cellebrite has also claimed that it can hack Android devices as well.
Cellebrite is planning on selling this hacking tool that can perform complete data extraction from the systems of any iOS handset. Furthermore, claims made by the company carry a lot more weight considering the FBI had collaborated with Cellebrite to crack an iPhone back in 2016. Apple at that time refused to provide a backdoor to the FBI hence, its deal with Cellebrite.
The hacking tool although requires individuals to be in physical possession of the iPhone or iPad that is to be hacked. Breaking in apparently also requires lengthy security checks to determine the entitlement of the person trying to crack the device. Reportedly, Cellebrite’s past kits have sold for $100 (approx. Rs.7,000) on eBay, making it accessible for those that seek to harm or pry into other’s affairs.
Through this announcement, it is clear that a backdoor entry to every iPhone and iPads out there has been discovered. Apple is clearly in the dark regarding the exploit that may end up actually affecting millions of its active users. iOS 13 is going to cut off support for some of the previous generation smartphones, meaning a fix to certain users’ vulnerable devices may not even be provided.
Apple has been proud of its security features, using it as a weapon against its competitors. The company now has to prove that claim and fix the issue that may soon become a widespread problem. The implications of such tools are terrifying in context to a user’s privacy and sensitive data. If the exploit does go live, it can be used by various agencies and organizations seeking to either extract data or harm people’s lives.