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When investigating iOS devices, you may have seen references to the SoC generation. Security researchers and developers of various iOS jailbreaks and exploits often list a few iPhone models followed by a note that mentions “compatible iPad models”. This is especially common when discussing iOS forensics, particularly referring to the checkra1n jailbreak. What do those references mean, and how are the iPhone and iPad models related? Can we count the iPod Touch and Apple TV, too? Let’s have a look.

The number of iOS 14 users is on the raise, and we will see it running on most Apple devices pretty soon. Apple had already stopped signing the last version of iOS 13 on all but legacy hardware. Soon, we will only see it running on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 which didn’t get the update, and on a small fraction of newer devices. If you are working in the forensic field, what do you need to do to make yourself ready for iOS 14? Our software may help.

Everyone’s iPhones contain overwhelming amounts of highly sensitive personal information. Even if some of that data is not stored on the device, the iPhone itself or the data inside can work as a key to other many things from bank accounts to private family life. While there are many possible vectors of attack, the attacker will always try exploiting the weakest link. Learn to think like one, find the weakest link and eliminate the potential vulnerabilities before they are exploited. This guide comes from the forensic guys making tools for the law enforcement, helping the good guys break into the bad guys’ iPhones.

iOS 14 is officially out. It’s a big release from the privacy protection standpoint, but little had changed for the forensic expert. In this article, we’ll review what has changed in iOS 14 in the ways relevant for the forensic crowd.

Today I’m going to be discussing my understanding of a few security concepts Apple have implemented in iOS – including how these concepts influence the user experience and the inevitable outcome for your personal data security. This article is focusing specifically on the encryption-state handling mechanisms within iOS (which handle in what situations data stored on your iOS device is stored in an encrypted or decrypted state).

We have discovered a way to unlock encrypted iPhones protected with an unknown screen lock passcode. Our method supports two legacy iPhone models, the iPhone 5 and 5c, and requires a Mac to run the attack. Our solution is decidedly software-only; it does not require soldering, disassembling, or buying extra hardware. All you need is iOS Forensic Toolkit (new version), a Mac computer, and a USB-A to Lightning cable. In this guide, we’ll demonstrate how to unlock and image the iPhone 5 and 5c devices.

The keychain is one of the hallmarks of the Apple ecosystem. Containing a plethora of sensitive information, the keychain is one of the best guarded parts of the walled garden. At the same time, the keychain is relatively underexplored by the forensic community. The common knowledge has it that the keychain contains the users’ logins and passwords, and possibly some payment card information. The common knowledge is missing the point: the keychain contains literally thousands of records belonging to various apps and the system that are required to access lots of other sensitive information. Let’s talk about the keychain, its content and its protection, and the methods used to extract, decrypt and analyze the various bits and pieces.

How can you obtain the highest amount of data from an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or Apple Watch? This is not as simple as it may seem. Multiple overlapping extraction methods exist, and some of them are limited to specific versions of the OS. Let’s go through them and summarize their availability and benefits.

Extracting the fullest amount of information from the iPhone, which includes a file system image and decrypted keychain records, often requires installing a jailbreak. Even though forensically sound acquisition methods that work without jailbreaking do exist, they may not be available depending on the tools you use. A particular combination of iOS hardware and software may also render those tools ineffective, requiring a fallback to jailbreak. Today, the two most popular and most reliable jailbreaks are checkra1n and unc0ver. How do they fare against each other, and when would you want to use each?

Today’s smartphones are a forensic goldmine. Your smartphone learns and knows about your daily life more than everything and everyone else. It tracks your location and counts your footsteps, AI’s your pictures and takes care of your payments. With that much data concentrated in a single device, it is reasonable to expect the highest level of protection. In this article, we’ll review the timeline of Apple’s measures to protect their users’ data and the countermeasures used by the law enforcement. This time no cloud, just pure device forensics.