All posts by Vladimir Katalov

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.

Is jailbreaking an Apple TV worth it? If you are working in the forensics, it definitely is. When connected to the user’s Apple account with full iCloud access, the Apple TV synchronizes a lot of data. That data may contain important evidence, and sometimes may even help access other iCloud data. I have some great news for the forensic crowd: the Apple TV does not have a passcode. And some bad news: jailbreaking is not as easy and straightforward as we’d like it to be. Let’s have a look at what can be done.

Apple iCloud contains massive amounts of data, which may become highly valuable evidence. The oldest and most frequently mentioned are iCloud backups, which ElcomSoft were the first to extract back in 2012. A lot has changed since then. Today, iCloud backups account for a very minor part of the evidence available in iCloud. Learn what types of data are stored in iCloud, how Apple protects the data with end-to-end encryption, and how to access that valuable evidence with the updated Elcomsoft Phone Breaker.

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?

The unc0ver v5 jailbreak has been available for a while now. It supports the newest versions of iOS up to and including iOS 13.5, and this is fantastic news for DFIR community, as it allows extracting the full file system and the keychain when acquiring the newest latest iPhone models such as the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, and SE 2020. In this article, I’ll talk about the unc0ver jailbreak, the installation and usage for the purpose of file system extraction, and discuss the differences between jailbreak-based and jailbreak-free extraction.

Elcomsoft iOS Forensic Toolkit 6.0 is out, adding direct, forensically sound extraction for Apple devices running some of the latest versions of iOS including iOS 13.3.1, 13.4 and 13.4.1. Supported devices include the entire iPhone 6s, 7, 8, X, Xr/Xs, 11, and 11 Pro (including Plus and Max versions) range, the iPhone SE, and corresponding iPad models. Let’s review the changes and talk about the new acquisition method in general.

“We shouldn’t ask our customers to make a tradeoff between privacy and security. We need to offer them the best of both. Ultimately, protecting someone else’s data protects all of us.” Guess who said that? The answer is at the end of the article. In the meantime, we keep talking of iPhone and iOS security, following up the Apple vs. Law Enforcement – iOS 4 through 13.5 article. This time we are about to discuss some other aspects of iOS security.

The USB restricted mode was introduced in iOS 11.4.1, improved in iOS 12 and further strengthened in iOS 13. The USB restrictions are a real headache for iPhone investigators. We’ve discovered a simple yet effective trick to fool it in some cases, but currently it securely protects the iPhones from passcode cracking and BFU (Before First Unlock) extractions. However, there is a trick allowing you to obtain some information from devices with disabled USB interface. Learn how to use this trick with the recently updated iOS Forensic Toolkit.

The new build of iOS Forensic Toolkit is out. This time around, most of the changes are “internal” and do not add much functionality, but there is a lot going on behind the scenes. In this article, we will describe in details what is new and important, and how it’s going to affect you. We’ll share some tips on how to use the software in the most effective way, making sure that you extract all the data from iOS devices in the most forensically sound possible.

Instant messaging apps have become the de-facto standard of real-time, text-based communications. The acquisition of instant messaging chats and communication histories can be extremely important for an investigation. In this article, we compare the five top instant messaging apps for iOS in the context of their forensic analysis.