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Grayshift, the company that unlocks iPhones for police, has been hit by a data breach

Who hacks the hackers?

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Image: Unsplash

Grayshift, the company behind GrayKey, which can be used by law enforcement agencies to unlock iPhones, has been hit by a data breach that allowed a small portion of the GrayKey codebase to be snatched up by hackers.

VICE’s Motherboard reports that last week, unknown hackers leaked portions of GrayKey code, and sent Grayshift a ransom request of 2 Bitcoin (roughly $19,000 at the time) to stop them from publishing further material related to the system.

The ransom demand was addressed to David Miles, a co-founder of the company.

Mr. David Miles,

This is addressed to you and any other people interested in keeping GrayKey product secure and not available to the wide [sic] public.

We are a ‘business group’ looking forward to bring into your attention the fact that we HAVE obtained the source code for your product GrayKey and would appreciate any donation above 2 BTC

Graykey has confirmed the data, further adding that the information shown by the hackers was obtained from a customer site that was briefly exposed to the internet last month, and the data is the HTML/Javascript that makes up their UI, with no sensitive information included. It looks like the hackers are bluffing, and the Bitcoin address supplied has no payments as of writing.

While this might be a trivial ransom attempt (2BTC is close to the price of one GrayKey unit), it does underscore that even security firms aren’t immune from security issues.

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