A group of hackers has hacked the Israeli company Cellebrite, stealing more than 900GB of data. At the expense mainly Apple home devices
Those who have an iPhone most likely also know the Israeli company Cellebrite. The company is famous for being able to hack into Apple devices, in the past has also collaborated with the FBI to unlock the iPhone of the terrorist of San Bernardino.
According to the online magazine Motherboard, hackers managed to steal 900GB of information from the Israeli company last January. Among these data there would be several news about the collaboration between Cellebrite and some governments, such as Turkish, Russian and United Arab Emirates. Notably, data on several Android smartphones have also been collected. But the main slice of information concerns mainly iPhone. Someone has spoken of a high risk only for the older models of Apple, but according to the magazine, iPhone 7 could also be at risk.
User information at risk
Hackers have now released files, allegedly stolen from Cellebrite, related to Android smartphones, BlackBerry and "old" iPhones. This puts users' personal information at risk and reopens the debate about whether or not there is a backdoor. This is because usually the services sold by Cellebrite to hack an iPhone are only valuable if used physically on the device. While the hackers have let Motherboard know that with their decryption system there is no need for this. It should be remembered that Cellebrite's flagship product, the Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED), can extract SMS, messaging app conversations, entire chats and other data from different types of smartphones.
The similarity with jailbreaking
In a README file, the hackers made it known that many of the iOS files have very similar codes compared to those used for jailbreak. For those unfamiliar with it, this is a system to install applications and extensions on Apple devices with unsigned code. Many have wondered what the real work done by Cellebrite is, but the company has defended itself by saying that its efforts are only useful to fight trafficking in women and children, to counter terrorism and serial killers. The Israeli company was quick to point out that the stolen data did not include any confidential user data, even though the files received by Motherboard contained very personal information.