A warrant was released which reveals that an iPhone 11 Pro Max was recently activated by the FBI using GrayKey tool. GrayKey is an iPhone encryption device developed by Grayshift, an Atlanta based company that helps law enforcement agencies around the world crack passwords on iPhones involved in criminal investigations for data extraction purposes.
As per the report, a third-party hacking device called GrayKey was used by FBI investigators in Ohio to extract data from a locked iPhone 11 Pro Max.
The phone in question belonged to Paris, Ali Koch, who was accused of helping his brother convicted of hate crime to leave the country by using his passport and lying to the authorities who are currently awaiting sentencing.
But the FBI never agreed that the iPhone 11 was hacked using a third-party hacking tool, but Koch’s lawyer said the password for unlocking the iPhone was not shared with the FBI and it was not practically possible to unlock the device in any other way, like facade.
It raises questions as to why the FBI has asked Apple to help unlock iPhones and weaken their encryption when they already have the means of bypassing security measures and accessing smartphone data.
Given the models that are iPhones 5 and 7 in the Pensacola shooting case, it’s unclear why a GrayKey hasn’t proved useful in that investigation.
The GrayKey app may only unlock new iPhones with higher iOS, but can’t unlock older iPhones with lower iOS versions. Nonetheless, given Apple’s security system this possibility is impossible.
Grayshift has never disclosed how the GrayKey app is broken so we can’t know precisely why. Regardless of the cause, one thing is certain: Apple is not going to yield to the FBI on this point.