Archive for June, 2015

Why Do We Need Physical Acquisition?

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

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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Elcomsoft Forensic Disk Decryptor Video Tutorial

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Quite often our new customers ask us for advice about what they should start with in order to use the program effectively. In fact, there are various situations when the tool can come in handy by decrypting data securely protected with TrueCrypt, BitLocker (To-Go), or PGP and we’d need a super long video to describe all the cases. But we’d love to demonstrate one typical situation when disk is protected with TrueCrypt when entire system drive encryption option is on.

In this video, kindly provided by Sethioz, we suggest you to decrypt TrueCrypt whole system drive encryption using our Elcomsoft Forensic Disk Decryptor thoroughly going through all the stages starting from the very first one when you just got the encrypted hard drive on hands.

With encrypted hard drive in one hand and its memory dump in the other one (taken when encrypted disk was still mounted) we plug HDD into our “invesgitator’s” computer, start Elcomsoft Forensic Disk Decryptor and easily, in one slow motion, extract the encryption keys from the memory dump file and decrypt the protected HDD, either by mounting it into the “investigator’s” system (to be able to work with it on-the-fly) or by decoding the contents into a specified folder.

We hope you’ll enjoy this video and next time you have the necessity to decrypt something encrypted you’ll feel more confident about it. We also invite you to take a moment and share your experience here in comments or leave your question if you still have any after this pretty detailed video. 🙂