Pakistan’s Spy Agency Buys Israeli Cellphone Hacking Tech

By Editor Aug3,2023

Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency and various police units in the country have been using products produced by the Israeli cybertechnology firm Cellebrite since at least 2012.

The flagship product of Cellebrite, whose stock is traded on the Nasdaq exchange, is called UFED. It enables law enforcement agencies to engage in digital forensic work by hacking into password-protected cellphones and copying all the information stored on them – including pictures, documents, text messages, calling histories and contacts.

Cellebrite, whose CEO is Yossi Carmil, says that its tools are only sold to police departments and security forces – to fight serious crime including terrorism. Over the years, however, the company’s hacking tools have also found their way to organizations that oppress human rights activists, minorities and the LGBTQ community.


UFED, short for Universal Forensic Extraction Device, is a powerful tool developed by the Israeli cybertechnology firm Cellebrite. It is widely used by law enforcement agencies, intelligence services, and forensic experts around the world for digital forensics and extracting data from mobile devices. UFED has been at the forefront of digital investigation technology and has played a significant role in various high-profile criminal cases.

The device is designed to access and extract data from a wide range of mobile devices, including smartphones, feature phones, and tablets. It can bypass password protection, encryption, and other security measures to retrieve information such as contacts, call logs, messages, photos, videos, and app data from the device’s internal storage. UFED is continually updated to keep up with the latest mobile operating systems and encryption techniques, making it a valuable asset for investigators.

Law enforcement agencies primarily use UFED to assist in solving criminal cases, including drug trafficking, human trafficking, terrorism, cybercrime, and other serious offenses. By extracting valuable evidence from suspects’ mobile devices, investigators can uncover crucial information, track criminal networks, and link individuals to specific activities.

While UFED has been instrumental in solving many cases and contributing to public safety, its use has also raised concerns about privacy and potential misuse. There have been reports of UFED and similar technologies being employed by oppressive regimes and unauthorized entities to target human rights activists, minorities, and marginalized communities. The ethical and legal implications of such usage have sparked debates and discussions in the realm of digital privacy and civil liberties.

Overall, UFED’s use is a double-edged sword, providing law enforcement with crucial tools to combat crime and ensure public safety while also highlighting the need for responsible and transparent oversight to safeguard individual rights and privacy.

August 3, 2023

Source: Haaretz

By Editor

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