This device sold online for $170 can unlock an iPhone within hours
According to The Daily Mail, a code breaker is available now for a purchase price of $170 (£120/€150) that can be used to unlock Apple iPhones. It could be used to gain access to private and confidential details stored on Apple iPhones, including contact details, photographs, emails, and call histories.
The device, called an IP Box, can be easily purchased online and from a British retailer called Fone Fun Shop in Sheffield. This code breaker managed to crack the passcode on an iPhone 5c running iOS 7 in just a few hours by bypassing the device’s auto-locking system after five failed passcode attempts and then brute-forced the protection system by trying all possible passcode combinations.
It turns out that the so-called IP Box is indeed effective, as it worked its way through thousands of combinations before correctly settling upon the four-digit 3298 code, out of a possible 10,000 combinations. It checks every single combination in approximately 6 seconds, completing the whole process in no more than 16 and a half hour. In other words, it takes less than a day to break into an iPhone running iOS 7 that is protected with a passcode, even though the chances are that you can unlock it much faster if the code it tries is among the first.
The tool plugs into the phone through the iPhone’s lightning connector, which is connected to a small circuit board displaying the input code. Once the correct code has been entered, it flashes on the small screen and unlocks the phone, giving access to private and confidential details stored on the owner’s Apple iPhone, including contact details, photographs, emails, call histories, and other personal information.
Company director of Fone Fun Shop Mark Strachan said, “We discovered the device via our Hong Kong office and were skeptical as to whether it would work but after testing we discovered it worked perfectly. We already supply forensic tools to law enforcement within the UK and worldwide and decided to introduce it into our line of products. There are certain scenarios where this kind of technology is needed to help people for the right reasons, it’s not all bad.”
He said, “We have helped many families who had a family member die suddenly get sentimental photos off their locked device. We have also helped many people get access to all their phone book contacts, especially people in business, who put everything in their iPhones such as suppliers and customer contact details that would be totally lost unless they cracked the passcode to their phone.”
While the device currently only works with devices running iOS 7, Strachan added that this month they will start selling a new device that can crack into the latest Apple iPhone software – the iOS 9 system that was on the San Bernardino phone. In other words, hundreds of millions of iPhones which include even the ones with the latest software could be vulnerable to attack.
He said, “It is the same technology the FBI got access to crack the passcode on the San Bernardino device.”
Professor Tim Watson, Director of the Cyber Security Centre at The University of Warwick, said: “Phones are incredibly useful devices but the problem is there are thieves who are constantly seeking access to them. The answer is you should always make sure you have your phone updated to the latest piece of software.” A spokesman for the FBI refused to comment but a source close to the US intelligence agency said: “The FBI is well aware of IP Boxes and have highly sophisticated versions of the product.”