Apple`s iPhones can be unlocked using a £120 code breaker, in the wake of an FBI lawsuit demanding the Californian company create a backdoor into its phones to aid an investigation.
The device, called an IP Box, can be easily purchased online and from a shop in Sheffield, and managed to crack the passcode on an iPhone 5c within six hours, the Mail on Sunday found.
The IP Box bypassed the iPhone 5c`s inbuilt mechanism to self-lock after five failed passcode attempts, and worked its way through thousands of combinations before correctly settling upon the four-digit 3298 code, out of a possible 10,000 combinations. Each code takes around six seconds to check, meaning any iPhone running iOS 7 could theoretically be unlocked in no more than 16 and a half hours.
The tool plugs into the phone through the iPhone`s lightning connector, which is connected to a small circuit board displaying the input code. Once the correct code has been entered, it flashes on the small screen and unlocks the phone, giving the owner access to the iPhone`s photos, messages and other personal information.
While the device currently only works with devices running iOS 7, the iPhone software first released in 2013, supplier Fone Fun Shop is planning to stock a version which works with the most recent version, iOS 9.
After months of legal battles, the FBI dropped its case against Apple last month after reportedly gaining access to the iPhone 5c belonging to the San Bernardino gunman without the company`s assistance. It has refused to disclose exactly how it managed to access the data.
The Bureau had previously filed a court order demanding Apple create a back door into the device to access its data which Apple refused, saying such action would create a "dangerous precedent" that could have widespread implications for law-abiding citizens and the security of their information.
It has now agreed to help prosecutors in a murder case hack into a teenage suspect`s iPhone in Arkansas. The device belongs to Hunter Drexler, 18, who - along with three other teens - stands accused of murdering Robert and Patricia Cogdell at the couple`s home.