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Apple’s iPhones are notoriously tough to hack, but one data recovery firm has announced that it apparently has a solution.
In a press release published today, DriveSavers announced the launch of a consumer service: unlocking smartphones. DriveSavers declared that it’s the only company currently offering said services to consumers.
But how? The company says it has developed a “new technology” that can apparently unlock iOS or Android smartphones of any make or model. Interestingly, DriveSavers says it has a 100 percent success rate in bypassing smartphone encryption.
DriveSavers said it is able to recover photos, videos, contacts, text messages, voice recordings and notes on both iOS and Android.
The company is marketing the service to consumers who have forgotten their passcode or have been locked out of their own devices, as well as those looking to recover data on a deceased family member’s smartphone.
It isn’t clear what technology the firm is relying on for its passcode bypass, however.
As mentioned by the firm, law enforcement and government entities have used similar technologies to gain access to locked iPhones. Though it’s worth noting that one of the most popular devices, GrayKey, is now reportedly obsolete thanks to new security measures baked into iOS 12.
It’s possible that DriveSavers have developed their own solution that leverages a security flaw. But as soon as Apple becomes aware of any kink in its encryption, it’s almost certainly going to patch the vulnerability.
The fact that DriveSaver’s tech can apparently pull data that is commonly stored in iCloud or other cloud-based services hints that it’s tied to those platforms.
Law enforcement agencies have long been able to request iCloud data from Apple. But since DriveSavers isn’t a government entity, that level of access isn’t likely available to them.
Additionally, the fact that the company’s service isn’t iOS-specific casts a bit of doubt on the full breadth of data it’s able to access by bypassing Apple’s notoriously tough encryption.
Smartphone hacking tools, including those used by law enforcement, have become controversial because of the risk that they’ll fall into the wrong hands or be used for unethical search and seizure.
But DriveSavers is quick to note that its service is only available to the actual owner of a locked device, or to their next of kin if they are deceased.
Throughout the unlocking process, DriveSavers says it tries to “validate the legal right to access the data” — but notes that “there may be no perfect solution” to verifying if a customer should actually have access to the data on a device.
Interestingly, the firm says it won’t unlock devices for any law enforcement agency or department.