Dev-Fused iPhones are Important Security Tools

Special prototype iPhones called dev-fused iPhones help security researchers examine Apple’s code (via Motherboard).

[National Security Agency Releases Ghidra]

Dev-Fused iPhones

Dev-fused iPhones are basically iPhones that haven’t finished the production process, or they have been reverted to a development state. They have security features disabled, and this lets researchers look through the code more easily.

image of dev-fused iphones
A dev-fused iPhone. Credit: Motherboard

These are rare iPhones and weren’t meant to leave the production process. Smugglers and other middlemen sell them for thousands of dollars. Dev-fused iPhones make it possible to discover vulnerabilities in iOS, for good or ill.

They are very popular among security researchers,” said a person who’s familiar with the supply chain of smuggled iPhones in China, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid putting his associates in China at risk. “I’ve had a number ask me and say they were willing to pay a significant amount of money to get dev phones. They are stolen from the factory and development campus.

For example, according to five sources that Motherboard spoke to, Cellebrite, a company that sells iPhone-hacking tools to law enforcement, uses dev-fused iPhones to create its products.

[People Can Buy Apple Hacking Tools on the Dark Web]

Photo by CoinView App on Unsplash

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