For the unknown, GrayKey has been surfaced on the web last week, which was previously known iPhone unlocking device. And today, MalwareBytes shared photos of the device called GrayKey with additional information about the unlocking product, is designed for law enforcement officials.
Of course, unlocking an iPhone is impossible when its credited with an Apple count. Apple, in fact, chooses the right path when it comes to jailbreaking and unlocking iPhones. If you’re thinking about this new product, what is the mess?
Created by a company named Grayshift, Graykey is a small, portable gray box equipped with dual Lightning cables. How can it be used?
Two iPhones can be connected to the Graykey at once, and need to be connected for about two minutes to install proprietary software that’s designed to guess the passcode for an iPhone. Once the software is installed, it will work to crack the passcode, a process something like hacking can take as little as a few hours for a short passcode or several days for a longer six-digit passcode.
Once the Graykey software has cracked the passcode, it’ll be displayed right on the screen of the iPhone. The iPhone can then be plugged back into the Graykey to download all of the data modified on the iPhone, including the unencrypted contents of the Keychain, which usually, can be accessed using a computer.
Based on screenshots, the GrayKey can crack modern iPhones passcodes running modern versions of iOS. It works with the latest iPhone X and iOS 11.2.5, the version of iOS that was likely available when the screenshots were captured. It probably also works with iOS 11.2.6 current version, unless Apple has managed to block it in the latest mobile operating system update.
Grayshift seemingly designed the GrayKey for law enforcement professionals, and it’s relatively expensive. A $15,000 option requires internet connectivity and is geofenced to a specific location once set up, while a $30,000 option requires no internet connection and can be used anywhere worldwide.
There are means why MalwareBytes worry about the portable version of the GrayKey, because, it can easily be handled by wrong hands if it falls into the wrong situation. It uses two-factor authentication, but given that people “often write passwords on stickers and put them on their monitors,” it’s possible the token could be hijacked, kept in the same location as the device.
What happens if the GrayKey becomes commonplace in law enforcement? The cheaper model isn’t much of a danger if stolen–unless it’s stolen prior to setup–but at 4″x 4″x 2″, the unlimited model could be pocketed fairly easily, along with its token, if stored nearby. Once off-site, it would continue to work. Such a device could fetch a high price on the black market, giving thieves the ability to unlock and resell stolen phones, as well as access to the high-value data on those phones.
This is the way GrayKey works otherwise, but it’s believed to be using some sort of jailbreaking process that could damage iPhones in some cases. It’s also not know how the GrayKey device itself is protecting data that’s stored on it, and whether or not the data could be remotely accessed by hackers.
What’s unknown is who Grayshift selling the devices to. It’s possible that sales are limited to law enforcement officials in the United States, but it’s also possible that it’s being offered abroad. Other devices of this type slipped out of the hands of law enforcement and have also become widely available, so the same could happen with the GrayKey?
Following the situation Apple in development, which continually working to fix the kinds of exploits used by devices like the GrayKey, so it’s possible whatever mechanism the box uses will be fixed in a future update. The average iPhone owner doesn’t actually need to worry about the GrayKey, but as MalwareBytes points out, it is troublesome knowing such a device could fall into the hands of malicious entities.
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