The Cellebrite hacking tool used by law enforcers for pulling data off locked iPhones costs $6,000 new. However, used units now show up on eBay for as little as $100.
That’s a big discount from the full price. And it seems that Cellebrite, a security firm based in Israel, isn’t too happy about the situation — with very good reason.
The used Cellebrite models showing up online cost less than new versions because they do not come with the latest software. However, according to a report by Forbes, the devices pose a security threat because they can recover leftover forensic data.
This could be available to hackers in the event that the unit has not been properly wiped. Cellebrite warns customers about reselling units which have not been properly decommissioned in this way.
Unfortunately, it appears that this is what is happening. As a result, buyers could potentially access the devices’ usage history. That could reveal what types of phones the Cellebrite searched — and the type of data pulled from them.
Along with, you know, being able to hack certain locked smartphone models!
Apple’s privacy standoff
The Cellebrite hacking tool is designed to find flaws that let it crack the passcodes of multiple smartphones. These include certain devices made by Apple and Google.
Cellebrite’s hardware was first publicized during Apple’s privacy standoff with the FBI. The two sides were battling over a federal court order demanding Apple build software to unlock a suspected terrorist’s iPhone. Apple refused to comply with the order — meaning that law enforcement turned to other solutions. Cellebrite was among them.