June 21, 2019
Industry insider Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple plans to introduce some significant changes in its 2020 iPhones, including 5G connectivity and design upgrades. But owners of iPhones and other iOS devices are likely concerned about the recent news that every one of the world’s current 1.4 billion iPhones and iPads can be hacked. Israel-based Cellebrite demonstrated that it can perform a “full file extraction” on any iOS device, as well as on high-end Android devices. Further, law enforcement can pay for that ability without having to send devices to Cellebrite.
Forbes reports that, according to Kuo, 2020 iPhones will be the first to offer true 5G connectivity, as well as “the first major design change to the iPhone since the iPhone X.” That includes resizing the premium models, “shrinking the 5.8-inch model to 5.4-inches and increasing the 6.5-inch Max to 6.7-inches.”
The iPhone XR, however, “will remain at 6.1-inches and skip 5G (coming in 2021) but step up to a premium OLED display for the first time.” All 2020 models will also show a “new punch-hole display.” Apple’s 2019 models are “the third generation to look almost identical to the iPhone X.”
Forbes encourages users to hold off on upgrading their iPhones until 2020, despite 2019 benefits including “upgraded rear cameras, a larger battery and (maybe) USB-C … and improvements [that] are primarily catch-up features like louder speakers, Bluetooth music sharing and a camera Night Mode.”
AppleInsider reports that Cellebrite “claims that it can determine passcodes and perform unlocks for … Apple devices, giving purchasers the ability to perform a full file system extraction.” It added that “all flagship Samsung devices can be similarly penetrated, with the addition of the ability to extract unallocated data to even glean information about deleted items.”
It’s believed that the FBI tapped Cellebrite when it wanted to “crack the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino killer Syed Rizwan Farook,” despite Apple chief executive Tim Cook’s “active opposition.” In 2018, Cellebrite chief marketing officer Jeremy Nazarian stated that “there’s a public safety imperative here.”
But, in February 2019, Cellebrite’s iOS-cracking tools were found for sale on the open market, “belying the assumption that any kind of back door could be kept safe.” Prior to the San Bernardino incident, Cellebrite opened its doors in response to law enforcement complaints that Apple’s encryption made its devices off-limits to its investigations. Now, the intelligence agencies of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and U.S. — dubbed the Five Eyes — insist that “privacy is not an absolute.”