How the FBI Can Encrypt Your iPhone, Any Time It Wants

After the San Bernardino Terror Attack, the FBI wanted to break into the iPhone of one of the suspected terrorists.  That was in 2015.

Since then, the FBI doesn’t need to go to iPhone to break into your phone, they have a lot of options now that enable them to do that, without the need for a court order requiring iPhone to unlock a users’ phone.


How a terrorist’s iphone became the ‘poster child’ for the FBI’s encryption challenge

 …..the FBI’s options for accessing locked devices have only expanded. A new product from Grayshift promises to unlock iPhones for as little as $50 per device.  The device, called Graykey, has already attracted the attention of at least three federal agencies, and at that price point could be an option for virtually any federal, state or local law enforcement agency.

Motherboard reported on March 24 that the State Department issued a purchase order for GrayKey on March 6 for $15,000.  According to the cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes, the Grayshift’s $15,000 offering allows a customer to unlock up to 300 phones.  There is also a $30,000 option that does not cap the number of unlockings.

Public records also show that the Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI are also looking into GrayKey and similar iOS hacking tools.  On March 8, both agencies issued separate requests for quotations looking for technology similar to GreyKey’s forensic workstation.

The FBI’s Electronic Device Analysis Unit determined the GreyKey forensic software meets the agency’s Computer Analysis Response Team’s mandatory requirements to “provide adequate capability against an ever-growing spectrum of mobile devices.”  Since not all mobile devices use the same type of encryption, the FBI wrote in its justification of GreyKey that the company makes “several products” to “ensure mission success.”

The interest in GrayKey comes as federal officials are again calling for tech firms to build in ways for law enforcement to access encrypted mobile devices. Earlier this month, FBI Director Christopher Wray called his agency’s inability to access the content of 7,800 devices during the 2017 fiscal year “a major public safety issue” that affected investigations.

According to the New York Times, the administration “circulated a memo last month among security and economic agencies outlining ways to think about solving the problem.”


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Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines. He is the director of Social Cognito, an SEO/Web Marketing Company. You can reach Paul at