All posts by Vladimir Katalov

The previous publication talks about the basics of using the bootloader-level exploit for extracting iOS devices. In this article, we are posting a comprehensive step-by-step guide of using the new checkm8 capability of iOS Forensic Toolkit for performing forensically sound extractions of a range of Apple devices.

In older iPhones, the ‘file system dirty’ flag indicates unclean device shutdown, which affects the ability to perform bootloader-level extractions of Apple devices running legacy versions of iOS (prior to iOS 10.3 released in March 2017). As such, the “file system dirty” flag must be cleared before the extraction. In this article we discuss the very different forensic implications of this flag if it is set on the Data or System partitions.

Have an iPhone backup but cannot get around the password protection? I have a story to share. I was recently contacted by an old partner from the other side of the world who asked for assistance in an urgent case. He had an iTunes-style backup of a device full of critical evidence, but the password locked him out of the data.

Passcode unlock and true physical acquisition are now available for iPhone 4, 5, and 5c devices – with caveats. Learn about the benefits and limitations of passcode unlocks and true physical imaging of Apple’s legacy devices. Looking for a step by step walkthrough? Check out our imaging guide!

Shame on us, we somehow missed the whole issue about Apple dropping plan for encrypting backups after FBI complained, even mentioned in The Cybersecurity Stories We Were Jealous of in 2020 (and many reprints). In the meantime, the article is full of rumors, guesses, and unverified and technically dubious information. “Fake news”, so to say. Is there truth to the rumors, and what does Apple do and does not do when it comes to encrypting your personal information?

The iPhone backup is one of the hottest topics in iOS forensics. iTunes-style backups are the core of logical acquisition used by forensic specialists, containing overwhelming amounts of evidence that is is unrivaled on other platforms. The backups, as simple as they seem, have many “ifs” and “buts”, especially when it comes to password protection. We wrote a thousand and one articles about iOS backup passwords, but there is always something fresh that comes out. Today we have some new tips for you.

The Screen Time password has been long recommended as an extra security layer. By setting a Screen Time password without any additional restrictions, Apple users could easily dodge attempts of changing or removing the screen lock passcode, resetting the iTunes backup password, or removing the activation lock. For a long time, removing the Screen Time password was not possible without either providing the original password or erasing the device. However, Apple had changed the way it works, making it possible to reset the Screen Time password with an iCloud/Apple ID password.

From time to time, we stumble upon a weird issue that interferes with the ability to install a jailbreak. One of such problems appearing literally out of the blue is the issue of being unable to remove the screen lock password on some iPhone devices. What could be the reason and how to work around the issue? Read along to find out!

After adding jailbreak-free extraction for iOS 13.5.1 through 13.7, we now support every Apple device running any version of iOS from 9.0 through 13.7 with no gaps or exclusions. For the first time, full file system extraction and keychain decryption are possible on all devices running these iOS versions.

If you are familiar with iOS acquisition methods, you know that the best results can be obtained with a full file system acquisition. However, extracting the file system may require jailbreaking, which may be risky and not always permitted. Are there any reasons to use jailbreaks for extracting evidence from Apple devices?