Documents reveal exactly how much iPhone-hacking tool GrayKey costs law enforcement, including subscription costs — company boasts "Turbo Brute Force" feature for iOS that can access locked iPhones

Password Unlock Iphone X Hero
(Image credit: Future)

Following the news that the GrayKey iPhone-hacking devices used by law enforcement now supports iOS 17, it perhaps stands to reason that more and more police departments would be keen to pick one up. And that's exactly what the police in Fairfield Township have done according to documents that have surfaced online.

According to the documents, the Fairfield Township Police Department paid $550 for a new unit while also handing over almost $11,000 for a license to use it, as per a resolution from a township meeting in May 2023. 

The police department also handed over $300 per employee who has been trained to use the GrayKey hardware and software, while the documents also include promotional material detailing what the devices are capable of.

Hacking, reporting, and more

The documents, first spotted on Reddit, detail exactly how the GrayKey device works. The license that the police department paid for allows unlimited extractions of data from any iPhone that they have the passcode for, but they only get 30 free unlocks of devices that they need to gain access to. After that, expansion packs are available with prices starting from $3,845 for five additional unlocks.

The system is capable of extracting data and then turning that into handy reports for use in prosecutions while a Turbo Brute Force feature apparently "uses advanced techniques to optimize passcode brute force speeds for iOS devices." The documentation says that the feature reduces the expected time-per-passcode estimations between 33% and 43%, enabling devices to be unlocked more speedily.

The documentation includes a letter from a sergeant who asked for the new hardware because his police department was relying on others to extract the data it needed to more effectively deal with a variety of cases, including homicides.

It isn't immediately clear whether the full documentation was supposed to be made available online, including pricing and GrayKey capabilities. With the aforementioned support for iOS 17 in tow, GrayKey can purportedly be used by law enforcement to break open even Apple's newest and best iPhones, including the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.