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Russian Investigators Buy Chinese Technology for Cell Phone Surveillance

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Russia’s Investigative Committee has reportedly bought Chinese surveillance equipment allowing it to hack into thousands of cell phone models, including Apple and Android devices.

The Investigative Committee has previously reported on using foreign-made spy gadgets, including an Israeli device for data extraction from smartphones. Russian security forces are currently engaged in a legal dispute with the Telegram messaging app for access to users’ encrypted messages.

According to procurement data, investigative offices in Siberia and the Far East signed deals last month to buy two Chinese-made Forensic Magicube portable cell phone scanners, BBC Russia reported Monday.

The Magicube is reportedly able to access Telegram, Skype and Viber message history; acquire Facebook and Twitter data; and break into Apple and Android devices.

Expert Express, the Investigative Committee’s provider, boasted of the device’s ability to crack an iPhone 7 or 8 in less than 10 minutes, BBC Russia reported.

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