All posts by Oleg Afonin

Many security practices still widely accepted today are things of the past. Many of them made sense at the time of short passwords and unrestricted access to workplaces, while some were learned from TV shows with “Russian hackers” breaking Pentagon. In this article we’ll sort it out.

Is surveillance a good or a bad thing? The answer depends on whom you ask. From the point of view of the law enforcement, the strictly regulated ability to use real-time surveillance is an essential part of many investigations. In this article we’ll cover a very unorthodox aspect of real-time surveillance: iCloud.

Half a year ago, we started a closed beta-testing of a revolutionary new build of iOS Forensic Toolkit. Using the checkm8 exploit, the first beta delivered forensically sound file system extraction for a large number of Apple devices. Today, we are rolling out the new, significantly improved second beta of the tool that delivers repeatable, forensically sound extractions based on the checkm8 exploit.

iOS security model offers very are few possibilities to recover anything unless you have a backup, either local or one from the cloud. There are also tricks allowing to recover some bits and pieces even if you don’t. In this article we’ll talk about what you can and what you cannot recover in modern iOS devices.

When accessing a locked system during an in-field investigation, speed is often the most important factor. However, maintaining digital chain of custody is just as if not more important in order to produce court admissible evidence. We are introducing new features in Elcomsoft System Recovery, our forensic triage tool, to help establish and maintain digital chain of custody throughout the investigation.

Many Linux distributions including those used in off the shelf Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices have the ability to protect users’ data with one or more types of encryption. Full-disk and folder-based encryption options are commonly available, each with its own set of pros and contras. The new native ZFS encryption made available in OpenZFS 2.0 is designed to combine the benefits of full-disk and folder-based encryption without the associated drawbacks. In this article, we’ll compare the strengths and weaknesses of LUKS, eCryptFS and ZFS encryption.

To perform an iCloud extraction, a valid password is generally required, followed by solving the two-factor authentication challenge. If the user’s iPhone is everything that you have, the iCloud password may not be available. By using a trusted device, one can gain unrestricted access to everything that is stored in the user’s iCloud account. This article gives a comprehensive walkthrough on this alternative authentication method.

The majority of mobile devices today are encrypted throughout, making extractions difficult or even impossible for major platforms. Traditional attack vectors are becoming a thing of the past with encryption being moved into dedicated security chips, and encryption keys generated on first unlock based on the user’s screen lock passwords. Cloud forensics is a great alternative, often returning as much or even more data compared to what is stored on the device itself.

When analyzing connected computers, one may be tempted to pull the plug and bring the PC to the lab for in-depth research. This strategy carries risks that may overweigh the benefits. In this article we’ll discuss what exactly you may be losing when pulling the plug.

iMessage, Hangouts, Skype, Telegram, Signal, WhatsApp are familiar, while PalTalk, Pigin, Psi Jabber client, Gadu-Gadu, Gajim, Trillian, BigAnt or Brosix are relatively little known. The tools from the first group are not only more popular but infinitely more secure compared to the tools from the second group. In this publication we’ll review the authentication methods used by the various instant messengers, and attempt to extract a password to the user’s account.