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Cops can Hack Smartphones in Minutes with UFED Handheld

As if being able to track your every move wasn’t scary enough, it looks like there is yet another way to learn just about everything about you. Thankfully, the Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED) is being provided only to law enforcement. Then again, bad guys could probably swipe one of these too.

Basically, a range of different cell phones can be plugged into the UFED and the device will be able to quickly grab your contact information, messages, stored photos, calling history, and all sorts of other data that could be used against you in a court of law. The kicker is that it’ll scan for deleted and hidden files too, just in case you thought removing those incriminating photos and texts could save you.

“But I have a password.” Tough luck. The next model of the UFED will be able to stomp right on by the password lock on Android and iOS devices. Maybe it really is in your best interest to get a phone off the beaten path with an obscure proprietary data connection. Then the coppers will have a much more difficult time accessing your data.

Will this become standard equipment next to the radar gun and breathalyzer? I somehow doubt it, but it could be added to the arsenal of tools that CSIs bring the scene. It’s not quite as impressive though as the quick chip clone Jason Bourne did on the CIA lady’s phone in Bourne Identity.

 

About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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  • Douglas Brush

    Devices such as this and others have been around for years. Cell phone stores use them, civil forensic investigators use them. Just because the general public. If people actually unburied their heads form their butts and looked into how devices such as these are used in forensic investigations they would understand what a complete non-issue this is.

    • Samajamalou

      You are an idiot. Of we should be worried. This goes against our fourth amendment rights – to unreasonable search and seizure. How would you like it if you got pulled over for a DUI and without your consent the police searched your phone, getting ALL of your past emails, texts, phone calls, GPS locations, etc? Dumbass… not good. Whether you have done anything wrong or not.

    • Samajamalou

      You are an idiot. Of we should be worried. This goes against our fourth amendment rights – to unreasonable search and seizure. How would you like it if you got pulled over for a DUI and without your consent the police searched your phone, getting ALL of your past emails, texts, phone calls, GPS locations, etc? Dumbass… not good. Whether you have done anything wrong or not.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve got a HTC HD7, so looks like I’m safe for now. They could always crack my phone open and read the SD card, but there is currently no BlueTooth or cable compatibility for the HD7.

    I’m wondering on how this thing would do with a PIN password for bootup? It’s one thing to bypass a lock screen.

  • tim gallien

    if I hacked a phone, would I go to jail?
    The definition of tyranny is when the state or king makes laws, then doesn’t have to follow them.
    Would I go to jail if I gave pat downs to people on the street?