Grayshift is a cyber security firm that creates advanced technological solutions for local, state, and federal governments. This firm has created a solution which allows for a government body to plug in any iPhone and it will unlock the phone.
The part of this technology that makes it very appealing for governments is the price model. Grayshift has created two different pricing models for agencies. One way is to buy the tool at full price for an unlimited amount of unlocks which would set an agency back $30,000. The other more economical solution for agencies is the same tool connected to the internet with a limitation of 300 devices costs $15,000 which comes down to $50 per device.
According to the US government's public federal procurement data system, the State Department had a purchase order from Grayshift for a little over $15,000 indicating that they purchased the online 300 device unlocking tool. The listing is vague with the category listed as "computer and computer peripheral equipment". Motherboard has confirmed that the Grayshift in the State Department listing is the same as the one from the Indiana State Police purchase order of a GrayKey. You can see a screenshot of the State Department's purchase order below.
Grayshift does not have much competition in this space either as the only other known company to do something similar is Cellebrite who's pricing is much higher with the tool costing $200,000 or $5,000 per device. This is a significantly higher price than the one that is offered by Grayshift making it the preferred firm of agency's purely based on price.
Do you like the idea of any government agency being able to access your phone for national security purposes? Or do you think the power will be abused?