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The company that unlocked an iPhone for the FBI now claims to have broken the encryption of the Signal database



The Israeli security company Cellebrite, which rose to fame three years ago for helping the FBI unlock a suspect's iPhone, now claims through its corporate blog to have been able to decrypt Signal end-to-end encryption, possibly the most secure messaging app on the market.



Cellebrite specializes in development of tools to help law enforcement agencies access data on suspects' devices and accounts; and has been highly criticized for having also collaborated with undemocratic countries such as Venezuela, China, Belarus and Saudi Arabia.



In the aforementioned blog, the Israelis claim that the growing popularity of highly encrypted tools (like Telegram or Signal, which last May reached a million downloads) is making this forensic analysis work difficult.



Now, he boasts that the breakdown of Signal's encryption, an app consistently recommended by privacy champions like Edward Snowden, will allow access to the communications of "members of gangs and drug traffickers."







What is Signal, how does it work and what options does it offer





According to the company, this method of accessing encrypted data has already been added to the feature list of one of Cellebrite's top products, the Cellebrite Physical Analyzer.



Cellebrite deleted the detailed explanation from its blog



Cellebrite hung up at first a full explanation of the process followed to achieve this milestone, although it subsequently disappeared from the blog article. This original article is still preserved at Archive.org.



Alan Woodward, a computer science professor at the University of Surrey quoted by the BBC, claims to suspect that "someone in authority asked them to delete it."




"Cellebrite seems to have been able to recover the decryption key, which seems extraordinary, as they are generally very well protected on modern mobile devices."



"[Ahora] they could have provided enough detail to allow others - who serve not only law enforcement agencies to achieve the same result. "




Although maybe it is not so bad ...



However, there are those who downplay Cellebrite's achievement:




"This just means that if they have access to an unlocked smartphone, they will be able to decrypt the SQL database where the old messages are stored and read them ... [pero es que] if you have your phone unlocked, any of us could start the Signal app itself and check old messages there. "