For the reasonable price of 120£, you could now be the owner of a device that can unlock an iPhone 5C in a matter of hours. IP Box as the device is called can be purchased online from a retailer in Sheffield and, based on a test carried out by the Mail on Sunday, is capable of uncovering a phone’s pass-code in 6 hours.
The device bypassed the mechanisms that self-lock the mobile phones and then ran through thousands of possible combination before it found the correct pin. With an average of 6 seconds to test each of the possible 10000 combinations, the device could crack open a phone running on iOS7 in less than a day.
Using the lightning connector as a port to plug the IP Box to the phone, the device has a circuit board that displays the digits of the pin code as they are tested and flashes the correct one once it is identified and the phone is unlocked. Once the device has served its function, it gives access to the phone’s data including photos, messages, call logs and any other data stored on the phone including banking information in mobile payment and banking apps.
The IP Box works only in iOS7 devices at present but the supplier has indicated they would look to stock a version of the tool that would work on iOS9.
The existence of this device is contentious at the very least.
Recent tug-of-war battle between Apple and the F.B.I. over the creation of a backdoor to access the iPhone data of one of the gunmen involved in the San Bernardino shooting has brought to the main-stage the discussion of whether manufacturers should build-in such back-doors.
Despite losing the court battle brought upon them, Apple refused to comply with the F.B.I.’s demand. The technology company did not want to set a precedent where the data and security of law abiding citizens could be impacted in a dangerous way.
The creation of that kind of a universal key to their devices could very easily be exploited by criminals and governments to access personal information. And once Apple were forced to do it, it would only be a matter of time until other device manufacturers were cornered into doing the same.
The tech community in Silicon Valley was lit up and torn. Siding with Apple were Facebook, Whatsapp and Google whereas Bill Gates supported the F.B.I. ask.
The Bureau found a way to bypass Apple through another company and the phone was unlocked but the ethical dilemma remains.
Since the San Bernardino case, Apple has agreed to assist the prosecution team with the case against teenager Hunter Drexler. The company has agreed to hack the phone of the Arkansas teenager that, alongside with three other teens, has been accused of the murder of Robert and Patricia Codgel in their home.