25 votes

No, Cellebrite cannot break Signal's encryption

8 comments

  1. [5]
    JackA
    Link
    I love how absolutely scathing this is towards the BBC and Cellebrite. Here's the BBC article referenced btw

    I love how absolutely scathing this is towards the BBC and Cellebrite.

    Here's the BBC article referenced btw

    13 votes
    1. [4]
      petrichor
      Link Parent
      Seems the BBC pulled a fast one and also altered their article. Here's how the article originally appeared, before Signal's blog post went out.

      Seems the BBC pulled a fast one and also altered their article.

      Here's how the article originally appeared, before Signal's blog post went out.

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        0lpbm
        Link Parent
        Someone is lying here. I wonder who.

        The BBC has contacted Cellebrite and Signal for comment.


        Since we weren’t actually given the opportunity to comment in that story, we’re posting this to help to clarify things for anyone who may have seen the headline.

        Someone is lying here. I wonder who.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          kfwyre
          Link Parent
          I can’t remember where I read it, and cursory searches have turned up nothing, but there was an article from a journalist saying that because internet news is highly immediate and there’s an...

          I can’t remember where I read it, and cursory searches have turned up nothing, but there was an article from a journalist saying that because internet news is highly immediate and there’s an immense pressure to not get scooped by other news outlets or even blogs/Twitter, journalists don’t often have time to properly do due diligence, especially if it will result in significant delays to a bombshell story.

          They said that they will often “reach out for comment” and then almost immediately publish anyway, with little to no time given for a response, because it’s better for them to just edit in any response later, after the story is already up, than it is to hold the whole story up for a response that might take days to come back — if it does at all.

          I don’t necessarily know that’s what happened here, but I do take any “we reached out to _____ for comment” lines with grains of salt now.

          8 votes
          1. Micycle_the_Bichael
            Link Parent
            I found this short piece from NPR about it. It doesn't feel quite the same as what you described but it at least touches on it a bit?

            I found this short piece from NPR about it. It doesn't feel quite the same as what you described but it at least touches on it a bit?

            3 votes
  2. [3]
    DanBC
    Link
    People outside the UK sometimes seem a bit surprised at how closely you have to read a text from a UK news organisation to get the correct meaning from it. BBC writes a headline saying "cellebrite...

    People outside the UK sometimes seem a bit surprised at how closely you have to read a text from a UK news organisation to get the correct meaning from it.

    BBC writes a headline saying "cellebrite claim they can break signal" does not mean "cellebrite can break signal", nor "signal has been broken", but only the cellebrite at some point made that claim to someone.

    7 votes
    1. JackA
      Link Parent
      I just feel like it's the job of a news organization to not broadcast false claims from companies that aren't even particularly important. It's also their job to do proper digging and determine if...

      I just feel like it's the job of a news organization to not broadcast false claims from companies that aren't even particularly important.

      It's also their job to do proper digging and determine if a claim is true (or to even verify what they're claiming) before publicizing it. According to the OP Signal was not even given a chance to comment before the article was posted.

      Large scale "general public" facing news outlets like the BBC should not be a primary source for reporting stuff like this, they don't have the proper expertise to even understand what's being written about.

      This may or may not be the norm in the UK but it's frankly terrible journalism either way, and we shouldn't normalize it as something to expect.

      15 votes
    2. Micycle_the_Bichael
      Link Parent
      I'm not sure this works in this case though? I didn't get to read the original Cellebrite post, but Signal outright disputes that the BBC headline itself is valid:

      I'm not sure this works in this case though? I didn't get to read the original Cellebrite post, but Signal outright disputes that the BBC headline itself is valid:

      Yesterday, the BBC ran a story with the factually untrue headline, “Cellebrite claimed to have cracked chat app’s encryption.” This is false. Not only can Cellebrite not break Signal encryption, but Cellebrite never even claimed to be able to.

      10 votes