“Earlier this week, Forbes learned that Israel-based U.S. government contractor Cellebrite was touting the ability to unlock the majority of iOS models on the market,” Thomas Fox-Brewster reports for Forbes. “That included devices running the latest Apple operating system iOS 11.2.6, and the newest models, the iPhone 8 and X. It hasn’t been forthcoming with any details on just how it’s doing that and in an interview chief marketing officer Jeremy Nazarian wouldn’t be drawn on providing many specifics.”

“That Nazarian is speaking with press at all is perhaps surprising, given the company’s typically taciturn approach. There’s a very good reason for the company’s reticence, especially on the details of the iPhone vulnerabilities it finds. Each one is like gold dust, allowing possible penetration into one of the most secure phones on the market,” Fox-Brewster reports. “Cellebrite doesn’t want to give up the secrets that are at the very core of its value to law enforcement and forensics specialists, who want consistent access to iPhones, or any smartphone that potentially holds vital evidence. Give up any details, ones that Apple’s security technicians can latch onto to develop fixes, and the company risks kissing goodbye to its unique unlocking capabilities.”

“The CMO also sought to calm fears over any malicious, illegal use of Cellebrite’s tools. ‘It’s not like this is over the wire listening technology… It requires physical access. It’s not like anyone is listening to your iPhone or my iPhone. It needs to be obtained as evidence as part of an investigation or a case,’ Nazarian added,” Fox-Brewster reports. “Director of cyber solutions at Point3 Security, Ryan Duff… a former cyber operations tactician at the U.S. Cyber Command, said any exploit would likely have to disable those Secure Enclave features to allow for quicker brute forcing.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As always, if you want a really secure, uncrackable iPhone, you should employ a long and complex passcode that would be impossible to brute force.

To set up a custom alphanumeric passcode:
1. Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. On devices without Touch ID, go to Settings > Passcode. If you have an iPhone X, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode.
2. Tap Turn Passcode On.
3. Tap Passcode Options to switch to a custom alphanumeric code. Enter your passcode.
4. Enter your passcode again to confirm it and activate it.

To change to a custom alphanumeric passcode:
1. Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. On devices without Touch ID, go to Settings > Passcode. If you have an iPhone X, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode.
2. Tap Change Passcode.
3. Tap Passcode Options to switch to a custom alphanumeric code. Enter your passcode.
4. Enter your passcode again to confirm it and activate it.

SEE ALSO:
Proving Apple’s assertion that there are no good backdoors, hacker dumps iOS cracking tools allegedly stolen from Cellebrite – February 2, 2017
Apple’s new challenge: Learning how the U.S. cracked terrorist’s iPhone – March 29, 2016
Did the FBI just unleash a hacker army on Apple? – March 29, 2016
Apple declares victory in battle with FBI, but the war continues – March 29, 2016
Apple vows to increase security as FBI claims to break into terrorist’s iPhone – March 29, 2016
U.S. government drops Apple case after claiming hack of terrorist’s iPhone – March 29, 2016
Meet Cellebrite, the Israeli company reportedly cracking iPhones for the FBI – March 24, 2016