Grayshift increased the prices of one of its iPhone unlocking products last year due to the increased difficulty of breaking into the devices.
Grayshift products are used by law enforcement agencies in the United States for breaking into locked and encrypted iPhones of suspects and criminals to retrieve important data related to the crime.
The price of a yearly subscription to the GrayKey online service has been increased to $18,000 per year. The service has a limitation of 300 users. Grayshift also sells an offline version of the tool with unlimited use model that was priced at $30,000 at launch. It is unclear how much its price has been increased.
The Grayshift employee replied confirming the company increased the price in 2019, and said it was because “Forensic Access to iOS continues to increase in difficulty and complexity, and we are making large investment in R&D to bring you the level of support you have come to expect.”
Grayshift is involved in a cat and mouse game with Apple. The company manages to find ways to bypass Apple’s protection measures in iOS and extract data from locked iPhones which is rendered useless when the company fixes that bug or further improves the security of the OS. Due to this, Grayshift has to keep investing heavily into exploits, bugs, and research as it has to keep finding ways to access data on locked iPhones.
The Grayshift tool box is being widely used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S. to unlock and extract data from locked iPhones of suspects. It is possibly making their life easier which is why they are ready to shell out so much money for it.