Warning Issued Over Phone Hacking Equipment Selling For Just $50

Cybercrime experts have issued a warning to Apple and Samsung phone users, following the rise of a phone-hacking device now for sale in Australia.

The high-tech device claims to be able to break into any Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, no matter what your PIN or passcode is.

'Cellebrite' machines are made by an Israeli cyber firm, and gained worldwide attention when the FBI allegedly used one to hack into the phone of Californian shooter Syed Farook.

Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 of his colleagues at a work Christmas party in San Bernardino in 2015. The pair were later shot dead by police. In the investigations that followed, Apple refused to unlock Farook's iPhone for police, with the FBI eventually enlisting the help of a third-party to gain access.

Now, the devices have surfaced for sale in Australia on Gumtree and eBay. While some are going for thousands of dollars, others are listed for as little as $50.

READ MORE: Apple Urges Aussie iPhone Users To Watch Out For Shady Apps

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If the equipment falls into the wrong hands, experts warn your personal information could be at risk within minutes -- even items you've deleted from your phone.

"They're used by national security and policing agencies, but there's nothing stopping the private sector or individuals from buying this software," cybercrime expert Nigel Phair told 10 News First.

"The Cellebrite device can gather all the information that's on the phone. Everything from text messages to emails, to access to encrypted chat channels."

The devices are mostly sold out of America, but are popping up on Australian sites like Gumtree and eBay. Image: Getty

Selling the technology isn't illegal in Australia --  but phone hacking is, and a conviction could lead to jail time.

The advice to smartphone users is simple -- don't leave your device unattended, especially when travelling overseas.

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Feature image: Getty

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