large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Your iPhone XS and Galaxy S9 is likely vulnerable to this new hacking tool

The latest iPhones and Android smartphones are vulnerable to a new hacking tool, according to an Israeli forensics company.

The tool is named the Universal Forensic Extraction Device and its latest iteration – UFED Premium – will be available to law enforcement for use in gaining access to locked devices.

An Israeli forensics company named Cellebrite is claiming its latest hacking tool can infiltrate devices running Apple iOS 7 to 12.3 as well as “high-running” Android devices – including the Samsung Galaxy S9 all the way down to the Galaxy S6.

Related: Best phone

According to Cellebrite’s website, it will make the tool available to law enforcement “on-premise”. The term suggests law enforcement agencies will be able to use a version of the tool on their own and receive the results without any further interaction with the Israeli forensics company.

Cellebrite states the tool can acquire “access to 3rd party data, chat conversations, downloaded emails and email attachments, deleted content and more”.

The process to acquire the data is described as “bypass or determine locks and perform a full file system extraction on any iOS device, or a physical extraction or full file system (File-Based Encryption) extraction on many high-end Android devices, to get much more data than what is possible through logical extractions and other conventional means”.

Related: Best Android phone

The “key benefits” of the tools “iOS Data Extraction” are listed as being able to “determine passcodes & perform unlocks for all Apple devices”, “[use] sophisticated algorithms to minimize unlock attempts” and “perform a forensically sound full file-system extraction”.

Much the same is also listed for Android hacking benefits with the addition of “extract unallocated data to maximize recovery of deleted items”.

“Knox” was the last phone hack to gain a significant amount of attention. This time it wasn’t a hacking tool being offered around but a security researcher uncovered a potential security flaw ripe for exploitation.

The hack exploited a security service on Samsung phones named Knox – Know was introduced many moons ago on the Galaxy S4. The hack would enable infiltrators to completely incapacitate any Samsung phone – usually described as “bricking”.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.