Recent court documents have indicated that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) possesses a tool allowing them to access encrypted messages on the Signal app.
Signal has rapidly gained in popularity as Silicon Valley monopolists have grown more openly hostile to free speech, but the platform may be vulnerable to backdoors that undermine the privacy protections provided through the encrypted messaging service.
Court documents show FBI may have tool to access private Signal messages on locked iPhones:
The court documents, filed by the Justice Department and obtained by Forbes, showed screenshots of Signal messages between men allegedly discussing an illegal weapons trade and attempted murder.
The screenshots reportedly showed metadata indicating that Signal had been decrypted on their phone when the device was in a certain state called “partial AFU,” which stands for “after first unlock.” In this state, iPhones are more vulnerable to having their data extracted.
For law enforcement to access private Signal messages from an iPhone, it usually must be in AFU mode. Still, a phone’s vulnerability will depend heavily on how up to date it is.
Can The FBI Hack Into Private Signal Messages On A Locked iPhone? Evidence Indicates Yes:
Forensic exploitation of devices affects any encrypted communications app, from WhatsApp to Wickr, not just Signal. What is apparent is that the government has a tool that can bypass encryption to get into what most people would assume are private messages. The question remains: What is that tool? It’s likely to be one of two popular iPhone forensics tools used by the FBI: the GrayKey or the Cellebrite UFED.
h/t Anon Braveheart