According to the report, FBI investigators in Ohio used the GrayKey hardware box to unlock an iPhone 11 Pro Max.
The iPhone belonged to Baris Ali Koch, who was accused of helping his convicted brother flee the country by providing him with his own ID documents and lying to the police. He has now entered a plea agreement and is awaiting sentencing.
Koch’s lawyer confirmed to Forbes that the iPhone was locked with a passcode when it got in the hands of the FBI and that the code was never revealed to law enforcement, nor was the defendant forced to use his face to unlock the phone via Face ID.
A search warrant filed on Oct. 30 reveals the FBI has in its possession a USB drive containing “GrayKey derived forensic analysis” of the iPhone in question.
While not specified in the Oct. 30 search warrant, the report suggests the FBI successfully deployed GrayKey to gain access to Koch’s iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Produced by startup Grayshift, GrayKey is a portable gray box that has previously been used by law enforcement to crack the passcode on iPhones. Complete details on how the latest GrayKey works are not known, although Apple continually works to fix the kinds of exploits used by such devices.