All posts by Vladimir Katalov

Criminals are among the most advanced users of modern technology. They learned how to hide information in their smartphones and how to encrypt their laptops. They communicate via secure channels. Their passwords never leak, and they do their best to leave no traces. Forensic investigators encounter new challenges every other day. In this article, we will discuss yet another tool used by the criminals to cover their traces: the encrypted virtual machine.

Making tools for breaking passwords, I am frequently asked whether it’s legal, or how it works, or what one can do to protect their password from being cracked. There are people who have “nothing to hide”. There are those wearing tin foil hats, but there are a lot more people who can make a reasonable effort to secure their lives without going overboard. This article is for them.

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.

Regular or disposable Apple IDs can now be used to extract data from compatible iOS devices if you have a Mac. The use of a non-developer Apple ID carries certain risks and restrictions. In particular, one must “verify” the extraction agent on the target iPhone, which requires an active Internet connection. Learn how to verify the extraction agent signed with a regular or disposable Apple ID without the risk of receiving an accidental remote lock or remote erase command.

Smartphones are used for everything from placing calls and taking photos to navigating, tracking health and making payments. Smartphones contain massive amounts of sensitive information which becomes essential evidence. Accessing this evidence can be problematic or expensive, as was clearly demonstrated during the FBI-Apple encryption dispute, which was about the iPhone 5c used by the San Bernardino shooter in December 2015. With modern technological advances, iPhone 5c unlocks are no longer an issue.

We have published multiple articles on iPhone backup passwords already, covering the different aspects of the backup protection. In this publication, we have collected the most important information about the things you can do under different circumstances, some software recommendations, and some other practical tips and tricks, in a brief and simple form.

The long-awaited update for Elcomsoft Phone Breaker has arrived. The update brought back the ability to download iCloud backups, which was sorely broken since recent server-side changes introduced by Apple. We are also excited to become the first forensic company to offer support for iCloud backups saved by iOS 14 beta devices, all while supporting the full spectrum of two-factor authentication methods. We are proud to provide the most comprehensive forensic support of Apple iCloud with unmatched performance, accelerating forensic investigations and providing access to critical evidence stored in the cloud.

The checkra1n jailbreak is fantastic. Not only does it work with the latest versions of iOS the other jailbreaks aren’t even available for, but it also allows performing partial data extraction from disabled and locked iPhones even if the passcode is not known. Still, you can encounter some problems if the USB restricted mode has been activated on the device. The latest build of chechra1n is to the rescue.