A New Tool for WhatsApp Acquisition

November 25th, 2015 by Vladimir Katalov

We have recently released a brand new product, Elcomsoft Explorer for WhatsApp. Targeted at home users and forensic experts along, this Windows-based, iOS-centric tool offers a bunch of extraction options for WhatsApp databases. Why the new tool, and how is it different from other extraction options offered by Elsomsoft’s mobile forensic tools? Before we move on to that, let’s have a look at the current state of WhatsApp.

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Acquiring 64-bit Apple Devices

November 23rd, 2015 by Vladimir Katalov

Last week we released the second version of Elcomsoft iOS Forensic Toolkit, our physical acquisition tool for iPhones and iPads. For the first time ever, the toolkit comes with the ability to acquire information from jailbroken 64-bit iPhones such as Apple iPhone 5S, 6/6S/Plus, and 64-bit iPads including iPad mini 2-4, iPad Air/Air2 and iPad Pro.

The 64-bit acquisition process differs significantly from the old methods we used to extract data from 32-bit devices. The new method is backward compatible with 32-bit iPhones and iPads; however, if you have a choice, we recommend sticking with the old and proven acquisition routine if you’ve got a 32-bit iPhone to extract.

Important note: a working jailbreak is absolutely mandatory for the new acquisition process to work.

If you don’t want the theory, you may skip directly to the step-by-step guide to physical acquisition for 64-bit devices. Read the rest of this entry »

Physical Acquisition for 64-bit Devices, iOS 9 Support

November 18th, 2015 by Vladimir Katalov

Big news! iOS Forensic Toolkit receives its first major update. And it’s a big one. Not only does version 2.0 bring support for iOS 9 handys. We also expanded acquisition support for jailbroken devices, enabling limited data extraction from jailbroken devices locked with an unknown passcode.

Last but not least. For the first time ever, we’ve added physical acquisition support for 64-bit devices! We’ve done what was long considered to be impossible. Intrigued? Read along to find out! Can’t wait to see what can be done to 64-bit iDevices? Skip right to that section!

New in EIFT 2.0

  • iOS 9: Full physical acquisition support of jailbroken 32-bit devices running iOS 9
  • 64-bit: Physical acquisition for jailbroken 64-bit devices running any version of iOS
  • Locked: Limited acquisition support for jailbroken 32-bit and 64-bit iOS devices that are locked with an unknown passcode and cannot be unlocked

It’s probably a bit too much for a modest one-digit version bump… we should’ve named this version 3.0! Read the rest of this entry »

Extracting Data from Locked iPhones

November 13th, 2015 by Vladimir Katalov

With hardware-backed full-disk encryption and additional protection of sensitive user data located in the keychain, Apple iOS is the most secure mobile operating system out there. Acquisition approaches that are traditional for Android and Windows Phone devices (namely, JTAG, ISP and chip-off) are completely meaningless for iOS devices running even years-old generations of the system. Bypassing screen lock password (passcode) has also been long considered to be useless due to the fact user data stored in the keychain is additionally encrypted with a secure key based on the passcode.

While we can’t do much with the former, our recent research shows that the latter is not entirely true. Bypassing the passcode does reveal quite a bit of information that can be useful for an investigation. And this is not just a theoretical research. We are building this functionality into a ready-to-use commercial tool, iOS Forensic Toolkit, to allow extracting data from locked iDevices – providing they have a jailbreak installed. The tool will allow pull available information from devices locked with an unknown passcode. That includes devices that were powered on (or rebooted) and never unlocked. Naturally, a pre-installed jailbreak is required in order to access the data.

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Elcomsoft Phone Viewer: iOS 9, Media Gallery and Location Tracking

November 11th, 2015 by Vladimir Katalov

We’ve just released the first major update to Elcomsoft Phone Viewer, our lightweight forensic tool for glancing over data extracted from mobile devices. Boosting version number to 2.0, we added quite a lot of things, making it a highly recommended update.

So what’s new in Phone Viewer 2.0? Improved compatibility with full support for iOS 9 backups (both local and iCloud). Support for media files (pictures and videos) with thumbnail gallery and built-in viewer. EXIF parsing and filtering with geolocation extraction and mapping. These things greatly enhance usage experience and add the ability to track subject’s coordinates on the map based on location data extracted from the images captured with their smartphone.

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Overcoming iOS 9 Security in Elcomsoft Phone Breaker 5.0

October 29th, 2015 by Vladimir Katalov

If you follow industry news, you already know about the release of iOS 9. You may also know that iOS 9 is the toughest one to break, with no jailbreak available now or in foreseeable future. With no jailbreak and no physical acquisition available for newer devices, what methods can you still use to obtain evidence from passcode-locked devices? Our answer to this is Elcomsoft Phone Breaker 5.0 that adds over-the-air acquisition support for iOS 9.

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Digging Mac OS Keychains

September 16th, 2015 by Vladimir Katalov

We have just released a brand new tool, and this time it’s not about mobile forensics. Or is it?

Elcomsoft Password Digger is designed for decrypting the content of Mac OS protected storage, the keychain. For one, it’s a Windows tool, so you’ll need to pull keychain files from the Mac OS system along with any decryption metadata (such as the key file for the system keychain or user’s password for decrypting the user keychain). After decrypting the keychain, we’ll export everything into an XML, and create a filtered plain-text file that only contains passwords (to be used as a pluggable dictionary in various password recovery tools).

So what is this all about?

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BlackBerry Password Keeper Escrow Key: Have We Just Found a Hidden Backdoor?

August 11th, 2015 by Vladimir Katalov

As you may already know from the official press release, we’ve recently updated Elcomsoft Phone Breaker to version 4.10. From that release, you could learn that the updated version of the tool targets passwords managers, adding the ability to instantly decrypt passwords stored in BlackBerry Password Keeper for BlackBerry 10 and attack 1Password containers.

If you read along the lines though it’s a different story.

Essentially, we’ve discovered a backdoor hidden in recent versions of BlackBerry Password Keeper allowing us to decrypt the content of that app instantly without brute-forcing the master password. For our customers, this means instant access to passwords and other sensitive information maintained by BlackBerry Password Keeper. No lengthy waits and no fruitless attacks, just pure convenience. But is this convenience intentional? Did BlackBerry leave a backdoor for government access, or is this an unintentional vulnerability left by the company renowned for its exemplary security model? Let’s try to find out.

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Video Tutorial on Decryption of Windows EFS-encrypted Data

July 6th, 2015 by Olga Koksharova

Although we’ve already embraced the EFS-encryption/decryption in some of our white papers and case studies, now we’d like to share a video tutorial because seeing once is better than hearing reading twice. So, in this video you will see how to decrypt EFS-encrypted data with help of Advanced EFS Data Recovery and how to recover Windows user account password with Proactive System Password Recovery (because it’s still obligatory for this type of encryption).

Advanced EFS Data Recovery (AEFSDR) is wholly dedicated to decryption of Windows EFS-encrypted files, however in order to decrypt the data the program still requires the user account password. Yeah, you might think at first that anyone can decrypt the data having user account password at hand, but no. You can’t. EFS encryption uses more than just logon password, nonetheless it’s the core ingredient in data decryption and so it must be provided.

If you forgot the logon password or didn’t know it at all Proactive System Password Recovery (PSPR) in its turn can help you acquire all system passwords once you can log into the system with administrator privileges. Exactly this example has been illustrated in our video (provide by Sethioz), here it is:

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Why Do We Need Physical Acquisition?

June 25th, 2015 by Vladimir Katalov

With all the trouble of jailbreaking iOS 8 devices and the lack of support for 64-bit hardware, does iOS physical acquisition still present meaningful benefits to the investigator? Is it still worth your time and effort attempting to acquire that iPhone via a Lightning cord?

Granted, jailbroken iOS devices are rare as hen’s teeth. You are very unlikely to see one in the wild. However, we strongly believe that physical acquisition still plays an important role in the lab, and here are the reasons why.

  1. Apple’s current privacy policy explicitly denies government information requests if the device in question is running iOS 8. This means that handing over the device to Apple will no longer result in receiving its full image if the device is running iOS 8.x (source: https://www.apple.com/privacy/government-information-requests/)
  2. In many countries (Mexico, Brazil, Russia, East Europe etc.) Apple sells more 32-bit phones than 64-bit ones. Old iPhones traded in the US are refurbished and sold to consumers in other countries (BrightStar coordinates these operations for Apple in the US). As an example, new and refurbished iPhone 4S and 5 units accounted for some 46% of all iPhones sold through retail channels in Russia in Q1 2015.
  3. Physical extraction returns significantly more information compared to any other acquisition method including logical or over-the-air acquisition. In particular, we’re talking about downloaded mail and full application data including logs and cache files (especially those related to Internet activities). A lot of this information never makes it into backups.
  4. Full keychain extraction is only available with physical acquisition. Physical is the only way to fully decrypting the keychain including those records encrypted with device-specific keys. Those keychain items can be extracted from a backup file, but cannot be decrypted without a device-specific key. In addition, the keychain often contains the user’s Apple ID password.
  5. With physical acquisition, you can extract the ‘securityd’ (0x835) from the device. This key can be used to completely decrypt all keychain items from iCloud backups.
  6. Physical acquisition produces a standard DMG disk image with HFS+ file system. You can mount the image into the system and use a wider range of mobile forensic tools to analyze compared to iTunes or iCloud backup files.

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