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Hack reveals data company Cellebrite works with everyone from US cops to Russia

Cyrus Farivar
/ Leeor Ben-Peretz is the executive vice president of the Israeli firm Cellebrite.
JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images
On Thursday, Vice Motherboard reported that an unnamed source provided the site with 900GB of data hacked from Cellebrite, the well-known mobile phone data extraction company.
Among other products, Cellebrite's UFED system offers "in-depth physical, file system, password, and logical extractions of evidentiary data," and is often the go-to product for law enforcement to pull data from seized phones and other devices.
In a statement, Cellebrite called this hack "illegal" and noted that "the company is not aware of any specific increased risk to customers as a result of this incident; however, my.Cellebrite account holders are advised to change their passwords as a precaution."
In addition, the trove of materials contains “customer support tickets” showing that the Israeli company sells its services to countries with questionable human rights records, including Turkey, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Cellebrite’s own website shows that the company works with numerous local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, ranging from the Hartford, Connecticut police to the North Wales police in the United Kingdom. (The company reportedly aided the FBI to unlock the seized San Bernardino iPhone that became the center of a protracted legal battle.)
However, little is known about the company’s business in many parts of the world.
This would not be the first time that a digital surveillance company sold to unsavory regimes. In 2015, data dumps from Hacking Team showed that it sold exploits to Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates.
Similarly, in 2014, documents leaked online showing that software created by the controversial UK-based Gamma Group International was used to spy on computers that appeared to be located in the US, the UK, Germany, Russia, Iran, and Bahrain.
Hack reveals data company Cellebrite works with everyone from US cops to Russia Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 10:04 PM Rating: 5

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