If you have a passcode or fingerprint set up on your smartphone , you may think that your device is pretty tricky to break into.
But Israel-based technology firm, Cellebrite, has developed a new tool which it claims can unlock almost any iPhone or Android smartphone.
Mark Gambill, Chief Marketing Officer at Cellebrite, said: “Accessing and analysing information from mobile devices is the cornerstone of any modern legal investigation.
“Yet for many, the process of exporting the data is very time consuming and too costly.
“This new solution makes getting and understanding data from mobile devices for e-discovery much easier and cost-effective.”
The tool is called the Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED) and can allegedly unlock ‘Apple devices running iOS 7 to iOS 12.3.’ This includes most iPhones.
It can also unlock a number of Android devices, including the ‘Samsung Galaxy S6/S7/S8/S9 [and] models from Motorola, Huawei, LG and Xiaomi.’
While it remains unclear how the tool works, Cellebrite claims that it can bypass locks and gain access to third party app data, chat conversations, emails, and even deleted content.
Cellebrite claims that law enforcement agencies could use the device themselves, although it remains unclear how much it would cost.
Unsurprisingly, the reaction to the announcement of the tool hasn’t been entirely positive, with many people taking to Twitter to voice their opinions.
One user wrote: “This is not something to be proud about! This exploit is almost guaranteed to leak and then hell will break loose!”
Another added: “Thank you for making it easier for the government to spy on us. Way to keep freedom going. I truly hope those who work for you seriously think about what they are contributing to.”