iPhones are renown for their security — to the point that even law enforcement agencies have trouble accessing their contents. An Israeli firm, Cellebrite, became well-known when it transpired that hacking tools it made were used by the US government to crack locked iPhones and now its hacking tools are available to buy on eBay.
Cellebrite phone-cracking devices, beloved by law enforcement, are available at bargain-basement prices so you can get a gander at all the devices that the police have presumably been able to squeeze for data.
The Cellebrite Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED) is a smartphone hacking tool commonly used by the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and other law enforcement agencies in the US and elsewhere. It’s the most powerful tool yet created by the Israeli company, able to extract a huge amount of data – even data which has been deleted from phones.
Security researcher Matthew Hickey who is the co-founder of the training academy, Hacker House recently told Forbes that he’d picked up a dozen Cellebrite UFED devices for dirt cheap and probed them for data, which he found in spades.
For as little as $100-$1000, you can get your hands on a second-hand piece of Cellebrite equipment (a fraction of its usual selling price). For just a few Benjamins, you could get a Cellebrite UFED (Universal Forensic Extraction Device) and use it for whatever you might fancy.
A brand new one normally costs $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the model.
What surprised Hickey was that nobody bothered to wipe these things before dumping them onto eBay, he told Forbes:
“You’d think a forensics device used by law enforcement would be wiped before resale. The sheer volume of these units appearing online is indicative that some may not be renewing Cellebrite and disposing of the units elsewhere.”