Digital Forensics Dispatch

Digital Forensics Blog
by Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Popular Cell Phone Extraction and Hacking Tool Being Sold on eBay

April 16, 2019

As more mobile device users are focusing on their device’s security, they might be alarmed to learn that a popular tool used by law enforcement, military and intelligence, along with enterprise/corporate customers (yours included) is being listed for sale on eBay. The devices which utlize this tool have the ability to bypass certain phone passwords, encryption barriers, and recover deleted content from thousands of different mobile devices.

Cellebrite UFED’s (Universal Forensic Extraction Device) has begun appearing on eBay and has raised concern for some of the site’s shoppers. This tool is used to extract data from mobile devices and occasionally does so through security flaws found in the software running on a device. When purchased directly from Cellebrite, the terms of purchase do not allow clients to resell UFEDs. Further, the tool is not intended for public use and if the tool is not properly wiped, could contain valuable case data and people’s personal and private information.

One eBay merchant listing the device told Forbes that he had purchased it at an auction after he mistook it for a children’s tablet. Months later, the seller realized what the device truly was, and listed it for sale again online.

Since the units are able to bypass certain password-protected devices, it is best to keep your cell phones and tablets up-to-date with the prompt installation of regular software updates that address and fix security vulnerabilities as they become available – even if the update prompts are annoying.

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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology