‘GreyKey’ iPhone Unlocking Box Seeing Wide Adoption Among Police Forces in the US


According to a new investigation that was conducted by Motherboard, GrayShift’s recently publicized “GrayKey” box that is designed to unlock iPhones is seeing wide adoption among police forces in the United States.

The investigation found that regional police forces have begun purchasing the GrayKey box for its ability to unlock even Apple’s latest generation iPhones. The Secret Service, along with many other federal agencies, are already planning to purchase at least half a dozen boxes.

Motherboard’s investigation into GrayShift and other smartphone methods suggest that FBI Director Christopher Wray’s statement where he said that they are “increasingly unable to access that evidence” is not the case.

The box can unlock an iPhone running the latest version of iOS in either a few hours or a few days, depending on the strength of the passcode. Once the box has unlocked the device, it can also download all the data from the iPhone.

GrayShift charges a total of $15,000 for the GrayKey box that requires an internet connection and allows for 300 unlocks. The company also offers a $30,000 box that does not require an internet connection and can unlock an unlimited number of devices.

The FBI has tried to advocate for companies to create backdoors into their electronic devices as a method for law enforcement to access this data. However, there are countless problems with this approach, as a backdoor is not only there for its intended audience, hackers will also be able to gain access.


  • awkpain

    If hackers can gain access to a backdoor… then surely they can buy a device. The problem has not changed.

    I would imagine Apple will patch this eventually. There is an increasing amount of time between attempts when using the phone directly. Why not do the same for direct connection…

    I’d love to see this thing try to chew through my 25+ character password on my phone… which better protects my high score on fruit ninja.

  • erth

    i thought that there was configuration that only allowed so many failed password attemps and then the phone deletes all contents? is this box somehow getting around this safeguard?

    if so, apple needs to patch that and fast.

  • John

    it’s a user selected optional feature and by default it’s OFF

  • erth

    ah. so therefore, the crooks need to turn this on first…. very good to know, if i was a crook.

  • Anaron

    You don’t have to be a criminal to want or need that feature.