The encrypted chat application Signal suggested in a blog post published on Wednesday that the products sold by Israeli surveillance provider Cellebrite to law enforcement are vulnerable to sabotage.

Cellebrite DI is dedicated to helping law enforcement and intelligence agencies copy call records, texts, photos, and other data from smartphones, but it has been repeatedly criticized for being sold to dictatorial governments including Russia and China.

Last year, the Israeli company stated that it had upgraded its equipment to allow law enforcement to collect Signal messages from the equipment it owns, and thus clashed with Cellebrite. Signal is a privacy-conscious application, eager to show its time to protect user conversations.

Signal creator and CEO Moxie Marlinspike stated in a blog post on Wednesday that he already owns a bag of Cellebrite equipment and has checked the equipment.

Marlinspike said, “To his surprise, it seems that almost no attention is paid to the security of Cellebrite’s own software.” He pointed out that adding special files to the phone can easily derail Cellebrite’s functionality, which is easy.

In a statement, Cellebrite did not directly address Marlinspike’s claims, but stated that the company’s employees “continuously review and update our software in order to provide our customers with the best digital smart solutions.”

Marlinspike claimed elsewhere in his blog post that he had found code snippets from Apple in Cellebrite’s software, and he said that if it did so without authorization, it “may pose a legal risk to Cellebrite and its users.”

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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When Cellebrite was preparing to conduct a public offering through a merger with a blank cheque company, Signal’s allegations emerged, and the combined company’s equity was valued at approximately US$2.4 billion (approximately Rs 179.8 billion).

Thomson Reuters 2021 ©


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