Law enforcement using new tool to ‘hack’ into cell phones

Law enforcement using new tool to ‘hack’ into cell phones

[Ed. – The report calls it a “mysterious” tool, but it doesn’t sound that mysterious.  In theory, as long as L/E has a warrant, it seems to be no different from breaking your door to get in for a home search. As the WHIO report suggests, the big concerns would be abuse by L/E, and other parties getting hold of it to hack your phone for evil, and not for good.]

Law enforcement agencies are using a mysterious new tool to unlock the cellphones of criminal suspects and access their text messages, emails and voice messages. Some agencies around the country, concerned about security, are not even acknowledging use of the devices. Adding to the secrecy surrounding the new tool, one of the companies that makes and sells the devices to police and government agencies does not display their products on the company website. …

The device is about the size of a small tablet computer with USB connections to plug in a cellphone. Kellar said bypassing the passcode may take hours or days, allowing the phone data to be downloaded. …

Two major companies produce devices that can hack passcodes and phone security systems. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office uses one from the company Cellebrite. Another firm, Grayshift, has a model called the Gray Key.

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