At least one law enforcement agency in India — Delhi Police — has the tools to extract data from locked smartphones, including iPhones. However, the effectiveness and success rate of such tools remains under question. There has been ample reportage about how American law enforcement agencies break into smartphones, especially iPhones, but the capabilities of their Indian counterparts have remained shrouded in mystery. The intrigue intensified after revelations that controversial Israeli cybersecurity firm NSO Group’s spyware was used to target at least 121 Indian citizens. Tools available to the Delhi Police include tools from Israeli cybersecurity company Cellebrite such as UFED (Universal Forensic Extraction Device) Ultimate and Physical Analyzer that were famously used by FTI Consulting to suggest that Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed Bin Salman had hacked into Jeff Bezos’s iPhone X. The same company was rumoured to have been helping the FBI with breaking into the iPhone of a San Bernadino shooter but this was refuted by the Washington Post and the Intercept. Other tools available to the Delhi Police include Swedish firm MicroSystemation AB’s (MSAB) XRY tool, Russian firm Oxygen Forensics’ Detective, and Czech firm Compelson Labs’ MOBILEdit. These tools are capable of extracting data from locked and unlocked smartphones — usually both Android and iPhones — with varying degrees of success. “All the forensic tools through which data can be extracted, they are available,” Anyesh Roy, the deputy commissioner of police who heads Delhi Police’s Cyber Crime Cell unit, told MediaNama. The need for this data extraction…
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