The FBI recently ordered a suspect to unlock his iPhone X via Face ID, in the first known police broadcast, anywhere in the world.
The incident took place on August 10, when the FBI searched the home of Grant Michalski in Columbus, Ohio during a child abuse investigation, Forbes reported on Sunday, referring to court documents. Specialist David Knight ordered Michalski to face the iPhone and activate Face ID.
Michalski was eventually accused of receiving and possessing child pornography. The search revealed related Kik conversations, including a conversation with someone who was really an undercover officer.
However, only some data from the iPhone were obtained because the FBI did not have Michalski's password, which blocked roadblocks for forensic tools after the device was locked for more than an hour. Knight noted that he was not able to document things such as app use or deleted files, but added that he had discovered that Columbus Police Department and the Ohio Office of Investigation "have technological devices capable of forensic extractions. Obtain locked iPhones without the access code, "presumably referring to hardware offered by Cellebrite and / or Grayshift.
A lawyer for Michalski, Steven Nolder, told Forbes that the FBI turned to Cellebrite, but until now has received nothing useful. He also noted that the police are now using standard language in commands to cover Face ID.
Mandatory Touch ID unlocking has been going on for years and is even used on corpses. Although it is for controversial reasons, it is legal at the moment and it is sometimes claimed that it is necessary for US law enforcement because suspects can not be forced to change their access codes. Conventional forensic tools are often defeated by full-disk encryption and other security measures in iOS.
Cellebrite and Grayshift recently scored major contracts with the US secret service, which was estimated at $ 780,000 and $ 484,000 respectively. Grayshift also took a deal of $ 384,000 with Immigration Customs Enforcement.