While Apple and the FBI again found a reason for the conflict (again it was necessary to hack the iPhone of the criminal, which the law enforcement officers themselves could not afford), the Scottish police do not have such problems. Became knownthat the Scots are officially adopting Cellebrite equipment and will soon install 41 specialized cyber kiosks at police stations across the country. Deployment of the terminals should begin today, January 20 and be completed by the end of May 2020.
Let me remind you that the Israeli company Cellebrite is an independent cybercriminal who specializes in extracting data from mobile devices. For example, several years ago, an Israeli company was called the main candidate for the role of the FBI contractor, when law enforcement officers were looking for specialists to crack the terrorist’s iPhone.
Although in the end, the FBI used the services of other experts, Cellebrite’s candidacy seemed justified, because the company has been working closely with the American police for a long time and law enforcement officers pay cybercriminals millions of dollars. It is worth noting that there are at least two such solutions on the market (Cellebrite and GrayShift companies), the manufacturers of which claim that with their help it is possible to select a lock code and extract data from the iPhone of any model running on an up-to-date or older version of iOS.
As it became known, soon the Scottish police will use Cellebrite solutions on an ongoing basis. Computers worth a total of £ 370,000 will be used to view data from blocked iOS and Android phones during criminal investigations. Selected employees will be able to use “cyber kiosks,” whenever possible, to examine confiscated devices and determine whether the data on them relates to specific investigations and whether gadgets should be sent to the laboratory to retrieve the contents. No copies of this data will be stored in the kiosks themselves. The operation of such a “cyber kiosk” is demonstrated by the video below.
Hacking smartphones works in different ways: it all depends on the combination of equipment, operating system and its version. The fact is that this is a kind of arms race – Apple and Google regularly fix the vulnerabilities used for such attacks. So, Cellebrite claims that sometimes its equipment copies its own bootloader into the RAM of some phone models and launches it to bypass security mechanisms (Pdf) In other cases, for example, on Android devices, Cellebrite solutions try to get root privileges. The equipment can also be used to exploit vulnerabilities in the firmware of the device, including iOS devices, to completely extract data.