Collector Finds Cellebrite iPhone Data Transfer Tool at Thrift Store, Promptly Installs ‘Doom’ on It

Add Cellebrite's UME Touch to the long list of devices that can run 'Doom.'
Image: Foone

Doom runs on almost everything. Old digital cameras, billboard trucks, and even smart toasters. Add Cellebrite Touch, a device designed by the Israeli company that sells phone cracking tools, to the list. Twitter user and collector of weird computer hardware foone discovered a Cellebrite UME Touch in a thrift store. They purchased the Cellebrite device, took it home, and promptly installed Doom just to see if they could.


And yes, it can run the hell out of Doom.

“One problem is that because it only has that weird semi-dpad thing and then a touchscreen, I have to hook up the external keyboard to play,” foone said on Twitter. “Weird! Fun! Probably wasn't supposed to end up at a thrift store!”

Verizon and T-Mobile shops use Cellebrite devices in to transfer data. But Cellebrite also sells its devices—which are used to collect evidence from cell phones seized by cops and sometimes private companies like banks—to law enforcement and government agencies. Customers are supposed to return Cellebrite's devices to the company for decommissioning. But the devices routinely end up on eBay and, apparently, thrift stores.

Cellebrite is one of the major companies in the phone hacking industry. Its Cellebrite Forensic Universal Extraction Device (UFED) was sold to regional agencies in 20 states for millions of dollars, banks, and repressive regimes like Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.

foone’s thrift store Cellebrite is a Universal Memory Exchanger Touch (UME), not the more powerful Universal Forensic Extraction Device.

“This means it's designed for phone stores to transfer data off old phones onto new phones and such,” foone said in a Twitter thread. Which means it can move data between devices, but it’s not built for cracking into locked smartphones. “It just seems they built their UFED platform and UME platform on the same hardware base. It also makes a lot more sense why this ended up in a thrift store.”