An employee at world’s leading hacking company from Israel can use a few seconds to unlock a smartphone and retrieve information. Even if some of the items had either been deleted or the phone had been formatted before.

Cellebrite is the technology firm that came to the FBI’s rescue when they were doing an investigation on a slain Jihadi inspired terrorist’s iPhone in San Banardino in California, US. This drew a lot of controversy as iPhone refused to cooperate with FBI because it could have gone against the privacy of its users.

It is largely suspected that Cellebrite’s technology was used to hack the mobile phone to unmask the communications of the killer. When asked if they were involved, the company’s management has refused to comment about the allegation. They have however been recognized as world leaders in such technology.

iPhone however has been unique and difficult to hack because the manufactures deal will all the aspects from the hardware to its software in all their devices.

The company that has 115 contracts around the globe can be able to retrieve a variety of information from majorly smartphones, including the spoilt ones, computers and other devices. This includes contents from text messages to fine details like location at any given time.


Doing demonstrations to an AFP journalist, they used a model of a LG mobile phone running on Google’s Android operating system and it did not take long to extract data. According to him, there is no phone in the market that is impossible to hack.

The company receives about 200 phones monthly from manufacturers for it to check through the system and find flaws wherever possible in what that can be described as ‘the chink in the armor’, therefore make corrections to make it stronger. The journalist says it can be a real challenge for smartphone manufacturers to introduce a new technology whereby the software has an ever better security system.

Rights groups have however expressed their worries in companies such like Cellebrite has it infringes into people’s privacy and can be abused. Sari Bashi, Israeli advocacy director at Human Rights Watch says

“Any company, including Cellebrite has a responsibility to ensure their business activities don’t contribute or benefit from various human rights violation”