The battle between Apple and the U.S. government may have come to a draw (for now), but the big winner in all of it may be the devices that already claim to unlock iPhones. One in particular costs just $170.
So when the government announced that it had been able to unlock the iPhone in question surrounding the San Bernardino shooting, Apple had a few choice words for attorneys representing the DoJ.
"This case should have never been brought," Apple said.
The case, however, brought Apple into the limelight for the first time that didn't involve the debut of some game-changing product. And limelight it literally was. There was nothing sweet about the media's coverage of Apple and its defense against the FBI and DoJ.
Certainly, however, the whole showdown also brought some extra attention to devices that did indeed unlock Apple's unlockable flagship phone. In one specific case, one device can crack Apple's iPhone passcode security in as little as 6 seconds or as long as 17 hours. Either way, it's less than a day.
For $170 at London's FoneFunShop, the IP-BOX iPhone Password Unlock Tool can unlock the four-digit passcode of any iPhone running on iOS 7. Albeit the machine can only work on iOS 7.xx devices, it still works.
The shop's owner, Mark Strachan, shares that the IP-BOX was originally created to help iPhone owners – not hackers or national governments – get to their photos and contacts when they forget their passcode. It works by using brute force methodologies to unlock the iPhone four digit pin.
Other media outfits like the Daily Mail got their hands on the device and reported that they cracked the code on an iPhone 5c in just six hours. Depending on the number combination of the four-digit pin protecting an iPhone, the IP-BOX will go through all possible combinations from 0000 up to 9999.
According to FoneFunShop's sales page, the device takes a total of 6 seconds per attempt at every possible combination. At that rate, it would take a total of 59,994 seconds for the IP-BOX to cycle through all possible four-digit combinations. That's a little over 16 and a half hours.
Originally discovered in Hong Kong, a newer version of the IP-BOX iPhone Password Unlock Tool is coming out soon and is said to be able to crack iPhones running on iOS 9.