FastUnlockX makes unlocking your iPhone X with Face ID even faster

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Anyone sporting an iPhone X should be familiar with how Face ID works by now. After the handset recognizes your face, you’re required to swipe up from the bottom of the display to get to your Home screen. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could skip the second step altogether?

A new free jailbreak tweak dubbed FastUnlockX by iOS developer CPDigitalDarkroom brings this idea to fruition and makes unlocking your iPhone X with Face ID a split second faster.  … Read the rest of this post here


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‘GrayKey’ iPhone Unlocking Box Used by Law Enforcement Shown Off in Photos

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Last week, news of a previously-unknown iPhone unlocking device called GrayKey surfaced, and today, MalwareBytes shared photos and additional information about the product, which is designed for law enforcement officials.

Created by a company named Grayshift, GrayKey is a small, portable gray box equipped with dual Lightning cables.


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 that 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 on the iPhone, including the unencrypted contents of the Keychain, which can then be accessed using a computer.


Based on screenshots, the GrayKey can crack modern iPhones running modern versions of iOS. It works with the 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, unless Apple has managed to block it in the latest operating system update.


Grayshift presumably 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.

MalwareBytes worries that the portable version of the GrayKey could easily fall into the wrong hands. It uses two-factor authentication, but given that people “often write passwords on stickies and put them on their monitors,” it’s possible the token could be 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.

How the GrayKey works is not known, but it’s believed to be using some sort of jailbreaking process that could damage iPhones in some way. It’s also not known 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.

It’s also unknown who Grayshift is 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 have slipped out of the hands of law enforcement and have become widely available, so the same could happen with the GrayKey.

Apple is 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 likely doesn’t 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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‘GrayKey’ iPhone unlocking tool revealed as pocket-sized device with questionable security

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The forensic tool known as ‘GrayKey’ has grave privacy and security implications, a report into the iPhone-unlocking tool suggests, as it has the potential of being misused by thieves and other criminals if the compact device is stolen from members of law enforcement.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

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FBI seeks industry help unlocking iPhones and other devices

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

The FBI wants the tech industry to help unlock thousands of smartphones and tablets involved in criminal cases each year. FBI Director Christopher Wray did not single out any companies during his talk at a cybersecurity conference today. Still, Apple certainly sits at the top of his wish list. In 2015, the FBI asked Apple […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Cult of Mac

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U.S. and Israeli firms offer iPhone X unlocking options to law enforcement

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Following a report last week that Israeli company Cellebrite was offering an unlocking service for Apple’s latest iOS 11 devices, a new report today claims that a former Apple employee is involved in a similar American business. Forbes says that an “obscure” startup named Grayshift “appears to be run by long-time U.S. intelligence agency contractors and an ex-Apple security engineer,” and is offering $ 15,000 to $ 30,000 iPhone unlocking services for models including the iPhone X.

According to today’s report, Grayshift has issued marketing materials offering an iPhone unlocking tool called GrayKey in two flavors: Online, with a 300-device usage limit, for a single payment of $ 15,000; or Offline, with no device limit, for $ 30,000. The company claims to be able to unlock iOS 10 and iOS 11 devices, including all currently sold iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches, with iOS 9 and older device support listed as “coming soon.” Forbes says that GrayKey’s service has apparently been demonstrated successfully on a locked iPhone X.

While Grayshift’s full employee roster isn’t known, Forbes says that it includes former employees of U.S. government-sponsored hacking companies Endgame and Optiv, as well as Braden Thomas, who is said to have spent six years as a security engineer for Apple. Thomas’ claimed involvement raises the prospect that iOS devices and software might have been compromised by Apple employees who later left to work against the company’s interests.

There’s been no claim of direct Apple involvement in Cellebrite’s service, which is currently said to work on “Apple iOS devices and operating systems, including iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPad Pro and iPod touch, running iOS 5 to iOS 11.” Unlike Grayshift, Cellebrite requires that each locked iPhone be sent to the company’s labs, at which point it will charge approximately $ 1,500 per unlock.

The claims of easy — if pricey — access to a locked iPhone’s contents come after years of agonizing debate over iOS users’ rights to device security. Apple has publicly vowed to fight for user privacy and claimed to protect its products with encryption technologies that it says it cannot break. When Apple refused to assist in unlocking the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, an unidentified contractor reportedly stepped in and unlocked the device for roughly $ 1 million, a feat previously thought to be all but impossible. Since then, Apple has recently offered support to law enforcement officials in certain criminal investigations.

While it’s uncertain whether the claimed Cellebrite and Grayshift techniques rely upon undisclosed vulnerabilities in Apple’s authentication schemes, one possibility is a speculative execution exploit targeting the devices’ “secure enclaves,” akin to the Spectre and Meltdown bugs publicized in January. While brute-force guessing of the device’s PIN or password is likely involved in the exploits, it’s believed that any successful hack would need to trick the device into allowing multiple fast guesses, as it currently requires up to an hour for the ninth and further attempts.

Apple – VentureBeat

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Cellebrite executive insists iPhone unlocking has a ‘public safety imperative’

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Cellebrite offers its services to law enforcement for the welfare of the public, an executive of the security firm known for breaking the security of iOS and other devices claims in an interview, while also stressing the firm’s tools are not a major risk to the privacy of iPhone users in general.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

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For security, unlocking HomeKit doors via Siri on HomePod requires iOS device authentication

According to Apple’s new online user guide, unlocking HomeKit security accessories like door locks through Siri on HomePod requires authentication using Face ID, Touch ID or a passcode on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch in order to protect your privacy and security…. Read the rest of this post here


For security, unlocking HomeKit doors via Siri on HomePod requires iOS device authentication” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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FBI security expert: Apple are “jerks” about unlocking encrypted phones

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Boonrit Panyaphinitnugoon)

Federal Bureau of Investigation officials are continuing to voice their displeasure with Apple’s approach to iPhone security, with one FBI official reportedly calling the company “jerks” and an “evil genius” this week.

Apple has repeatedly made it more difficult to access data on encrypted iPhones, making Apple customers safer from hackers but also preventing the FBI from breaking into phones used by suspected criminals.

“At what point is it just trying to one-up things and at what point is it to thwart law enforcement?” FBI forensic expert Stephen Flatley said yesterday while speaking at the International Conference on Cyber Security in Manhattan, according to a report by Motherboard. “Apple is pretty good at evil genius stuff.”

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apple – Ars Technica

Unlocking augmented reality for business


Like its close relative virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) blends the lines between the physical and digital worlds, creating a new type of environment for us to interact with. Instead of wearing a pair of goggles and immersing oneself in a different setting, AR uses everyday devices like a tablet or smartphone to overlay digital elements onto a live view of the world around us. The technology started to gain momentum around 20 years ago, with prominent researchers like Ronald T. Azuma examining the most pertinent applications of the coined term “augmented reality”. Its potential to advance fields like…

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OnePlus 5T receives update to improve unlocking, video recording, and more

OnePlus’ latest flagship, the 5T, just went on sale two days ago. It looks like OnePlus may have found a few last-minute bugs in the software, because Oxygen OS 4.7.2 has started rolling out to the phone with a few helpful fixes included.

The update in question is Oxygen OS 4.7.2, with an update size of 107MB. According to the changelog, it includes fixes for face unlock, fingerprint unlock, screen off gestures, EIS during video recording, and others.

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OnePlus 5T receives update to improve unlocking, video recording, and more was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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