Proving Apple’s assertion that there are no good backdoors, hacker dumps iOS cracking tools allegedly stolen from Cellebrite

“In January, Motherboard reported that a hacker had stolen 900GB of data from mobile phone forensics company Cellebrite,” Joseph Cox reports for Motherboard. “The data suggested that Cellebrite had sold its phone cracking technology to oppressive regimes such as Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia.”

“Now the hacker responsible has publicly released a cache of files allegedly stolen from Cellebrite relating to Android and BlackBerry devices, and older iPhones, some of which may have been copied from publicly available phone cracking tools,” Cox reports. “‘It’s important to demonstrate that when you create these tools, they will make it out. History should make that clear,’ they continued.”

“Cellebrite is an Israeli firm which specializes in extracting data from mobile phones for law enforcement agencies,” Cox reports. “A spokesperson for Cellebrite told Motherboard in an email: ‘The files referenced here are part of the distribution package of our application and are available to our customers. They do not include any source code.’ He added that the company monitors new research from academia and the information security community, including ‘”newly published forensic methods, research tools and publicly documented issues, including ‘jailbreaks,’ which enable platform research.'”

“In early 2016, the Department of Justice and Apple entered a fierce legal battle, in which the department tried to legally compel Apple to build a custom operating system that would allow investigators to bypass security protections on an iPhone. A concern at the time was that, if such an operating system was created, it could leak and become public,” Cox reports. “Although these dumped tools may not be the most sensitive — Cellebrite keeps its techniques for cracking more recent iPhones inhouse — they do demonstrate that those worries were justified.””

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, encryption is binary; it’s either on or off.

You cannot have both. You either have privacy via full encryption or you don’t by forcing back doors upon Apple. It’s all or nothing.

There have been people that suggest that we should have a back door. But the reality is if you put a back door in, that back door’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys. — Apple CEO Tim Cook

Without strong encryption (meaning no back doors), U.S. companies’ tech products would be eschewed around the world.

A hacker just proved that Apple was right to worry about creating a backdoor to the iPhone – January 13, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook touts encryption at Senator Orrin Hatch’s Utah Tech Tour – October 3, 2016
Feckless FBI unable to unlock iPhone, even with a ‘fingerprint unlock warrant’ – May 12, 2016
FBI’s Comey says agency paid more than $1 million to access San Bernadino iPhone – April 21, 2016
Nothing significant found on San Bernardino’s terrorist’s iPhone – April 14, 2016
FBI director confirms hack only works on older iPhones that lack Apple’s Secure Enclave – April 7, 2016
Apple responds to FBI: ‘This case should have never been brought’ – March 29, 2016


    1. Russia is certainly a repressive regime – no freedom of the press, opposition groups are intimidated, harrassed and persecuted by the authorities and if you’re a gay man or lesbian, you are brutally oppressed by the Russian Government.

      1. Wrong; anti-establishment media in Russia have way bigger visibility than in the USA; opposition groups are unhinged, and not bothered by authorities, and LGBTs are oppressed, but not brutally (there is absurd law about fines for propaganda-to-children, but in years it was used only once or something).

        In other words, reality is different from what Orwellian propaganda tools such as CNN and others brainwash people with. MSM lie to you about Iraq war, about Libya, about Syria, about Bernard Sanders, about DAPL protests, about DNC corruption, and they lie to you about many other major topics, including on the situation in Russia.

  1. Agree with MDN’s take that it’s binary. But how long before the new “regime” whoops up sufficient populist frenzy with some made-up or distorted story in a bid to force Apple to create a security bypass in iOS?

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