At the end of 2017 the news of the existence of GrayKey began to circulate, a device capable of unlocking or hack any iPhone manufactured by a company called Grayshift. Now, through some images filtered by the security company Malwarebytes, we have been able to know the appearance and the operation of this box.
After the San Bernardino assassin case, author of the California massacre in 2016, the FBI and Apple had a confrontation because the authorities requested the help of the technology company to access the terrorist’s iPhone. Apple pointed out that the data was protected by the criminal’s password, and that without the data they could not access the content of the device either. In addition, they refused to hack through a back door, because if the software fell into the wrong hands would put at risk the confidentiality of all users.
After more than three months of comings and goings, the FBI managed to hack the iPhone without the help of Apple thanks to the software of Cellebrite, an Israeli company that is dedicated to the development of mobile forensic tools to extract data from blocked devices.
However, Cellebrite is not the only company offering its services to the authorities to unlock Apple’s mobile phones in criminal investigations. Apparently, Grayshift, based in Atlanta (Georgia, United States) and founded in 2016, also has a device to unlock the iPhone called GrayKey, which sells to law enforcement or laboratories for internal use.
Now, an anonymous source has leaked photos of the mysterious box and details of its operation. As you can see in the header image, it has two cables to work with two iPhones at the same time. Its operation is as follows: the terminal is connected for two minutes, unplugged and then wait until the mobile phone shows a black screen with the access code and other data.
The exact time from when the iPhone is disconnected from the box until the data appears on the screen varies depending on the length of the password. The four-digit codes are obtained in two or three hours, the six-digit codes can take up to three days and the longer ones take longer, although it is not known how much.
After unlocking the iPhone, the content is downloaded into the GrayKey box, where you can access the files and download them to a computer through a web interface.
According to Malwarebytes, there are two versions. One cost $15,000, that simply requires the Internet connection and can only be used in the network in which the device was initially configured. The other is worth $30,000, does not need a connection and has no unlock limit. GrayKey will continue to work until Apple solves the exploits that the device uses to extract the information, which is unknown.
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