U.S. government’s multi-million dollar mobile forensics shopping spree revealed

“The FBI, the DOJ, and numerous other U.S. government agencies have been buying mobile forensics and smart phone hacking tools from Cellebrite — an Israeli based cybersecurity firm — over the past decade,” Steve Morgan reports for Forbes. “Cellebrite manufactures the UFED Touch, a mobile forensic extraction device which the FBI used to hack into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5c.”

CNNMoney reported last week the FBI alone signed 187 contracts with Cellebrite over the past seven years — averaging $10,883 per contract — according to U.S. government records. That’s more than $2 million the FBI dropped on mobile forensics products and services,” Morgan reports. “The Federal Procurement Data System–Next Generation (FPDS-NG) reports on U.S. government agency purchases. A search on government spending with Cellebrite returns an eye-popping 1,511 purchase orders or other award types as of today. The Cellebrite buyers are a who’s who of federal agencies.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For anyone who still believes the FBI had no way to get into the terrorist’s government-issued iPhone 5c, we have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale, cheap!

Via Cellebrite’s website:

UFED Touch is a comprehensive, standalone mobile forensic extraction device that combines outstanding mobile device support with unrivaled data extraction technology. With its intuitive GUI and easy-to-use touch screen, the UFED Touch enables physical, file system, and logical extractions of all data and passwords, included deleted data, from the widest range of mobile devices.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


    1. Not FBI – FIB!

      Remember how the FIB said that they were approached at the last minute before the court hearing by an outside party to unlock the iPhone. FIB has been dealing with Cellebrite for years.

  1. And all these government agencies still cannot stop random terrorists attacks, drug smuggling/selling, etc. even after breaking into multipole “secured” devices. Talk about incompetence. Of course no one in government ever thought that maybe one way to really stop bad things from happening is to get off your lazy asses and get boots on the ground and do something called old fashion intelligence gathering.

  2. This is sure casting light on how low this nation is going, the FBI introducing the UFED Touch, a mobile forensic extraction device that it’s known about for years. Sounds like something that every Guantanamo on the Bay Resort will soon have. In the future you may not even need to go to a drive thru for you and your devices extracted, they will be mobile and will drive to you.

    It’s the dawn of a new day when the mobile water boarding team comes to your house for an extraction. Gives a whole new meaning to you’ve been FED.

    I can just see it now…

    1. I have to agree that the feds in general must have known about the UFED Touch and similar tech for years. The term ‘disingenuous’ again rings in my head regarding the FBI’s assault on Apple. This has, I believe, been a GAME to them, one they lost… this time. This isn’t the government I want. Governing isn’t a game. It isn’t ‘business’. It’s the will of We The People, and we clearly don’t will bullshit.

      1. Yes, you are right Derek, and I hope that history looks back at this and says “what dark times” because the principles that your country is based on are great, but what is happening these days, well it’s just corruptive power people usurping the will of the people. I hope the pendulum swings back to a more humanitarian view of the global situation.

        On a side note, a big thank you to MDN for resizing that photo. I rarely post links to photos but I could not resist the UFED information extraction.

  3. Damn! The interface on the UFED Touch is more helpful than Apple’s Help interface! (Not that I consider Apple’s Help to be very helpful). This thing was designed for law enforcement officials with minimal tech savvy. The geek in me is impressed.

  4. Watched all of the Cellebrite YouTube videos on using their UFED Touch device. . . only on the last one do you learn that it only works with the displayed iPhone—an iPhone 4S—and then another Cellebrite YouTube, dated July 2015, continues from there with a new cable connector for the device which specifies you must be using iOS 7, for this unlocking system to work, and also requires an additional piece of equipment, a Cellebrite camera stand which scans the screen, watching for the iPhone to be unlocked as it tries all possible passcodes by brute force. The video states it may take several hours while it makes the attempts.

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