All posts by Oleg Afonin

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.

The wide spread of full-disk encryption makes live system analysis during incident response a challenge, but also an opportunity. A timely detection of full-disk encryption or a mounted crypto container allows experts take extra steps to secure access to encrypted evidence before pulling the plug. What steps are required and how to tell if the system is using full-disk encryption? “We have a tool for that”.

There is no lack of tools claiming the ability to recover lost or deleted information from the iPhone. These tools’ claims range from “Recover data lost due to water damaged, broken, deletion, device loss, etc.” to the much more reserved “Selectively recovers iPhone data from internal memory, iCloud, and iTunes”. Do any of those tools actually work, and do they live up to the user’s expectations? The answer is complex, hence this article. Let us place the claims through our usual scrutiny.

Breaking passwords becomes more difficult with every other update of popular software. Microsoft routinely bumps the number of hash iterations to make Office document protection coherent with current hardware. Apple uses excessive protection of iTunes backups since iOS 10.1, making brute force attacks a thing of the past. VeraCrypt and BitLocker were secure from the get go. However, everything is not lost if you consider human nature.

QQ Browser is one of China’s most popular Web browsers. With some 10% of the Chinese market and the numerous Chinese users abroad, QQ Browser is used by the millions. Like many of its competitors, QQ Browser offers the ability to store website passwords. The passwords are securely encrypted, and can be only accessed once the user signs into their Windows account. Learn what you need to do to extract passwords from Tencent QQ Browser.

BitLocker is Windows default solution for encrypting disk volumes. A large number of organizations protect startup disks with BitLocker encryption. While adding the necessary layer of security, BitLocker also has the potential of locking administrative access to the encrypted volumes if the original Windows logon password is lost. We are offering a straightforward solution for reinstating access to BitLocker-protected Windows systems with the help of a bootable USB drive.

Originally released in September 2016, iOS 10 was regularly updated for most devices until July 2017. The 64-bit iPhones capable of running iOS 10 range from the iPhone 5s to iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. While one is hardly likely to encounter an iOS 10 in the wild, forensic labs still process devices running the older version of the OS. In this update, we’ve brought support for jailbreak-free extraction back to the roots, adding support for the oldest version of iOS capable of running on the iPhone 7 generation of devices. Let’s see what it takes to extract an older iPhone without a jailbreak. In addition, we have expanded support for the Apple TV devices, now offering keychain decryption in addition to file system extraction for both Apple TV 4 (Apple TV HD) and Apple TV 4K running tvOS 13.4 through 13.4.5.

Since iOS 5, Apple allows users to back up their phones and tablets automatically into their iCloud account. Initially, iCloud backups were similar in content to local (iTunes) backups without the password. However, the introduction of iCloud sync has changed the rules of the game. With more types of data synchronized through iCloud as opposed to being backed up, the content of iCloud backups gets slimmed down as synchronized information is excluded from cloud backups (but still present in local backups).

Multi-factor authentication is the new reality. A password alone is no longer considered sufficient. Phishing attacks, frequent leaks of password databases and the ubiquitous issue of reusing passwords make password protection unsafe. Adding “something that you have” to “something that you know” improves the security considerably, having the potential of cutting a chain attack early even in worst case scenarios. However, not all types of two-factor authentication are equally secure. Let’s talk about the most commonly used type of two-factor authentication: the one based on text messages (SMS) delivered to a trusted phone number.

There is a bit of confusion about our software designed to allow breaking into password-protected systems, files, documents, and encrypted containers. We have as many as three products (and five different tools) dealing with the matter: Elcomsoft Forensic Disk Decryptor (with an unnamed memory dumping tool), Elcomsoft System Recovery and Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery, which also includes Elcomsoft Hash Extractor as part of the package. Let’s briefly go through all of them. Hopefully it will help you select the right product for your needs and save time in your investigation.