Archive for the ‘Clouds’ category

Twelve years ago, we introduced an innovative way of accessing iPhone user data, retrieving iPhone backups straight from Apple iCloud. As our iCloud extraction technology celebrates its twelfth anniversary, it’s a fitting moment to reflect on the reactions it has provoked within the IT community. Let us commemorate the birth of the cloud extraction technology, recap the initial reactions from the forensic community, and talk about where this technology stands today.

Acquiring data from locked, broken, or inaccessible devices poses significant challenges. However, there are ways to retrieve valuable information from such devices by obtaining the data from iCloud, including old data that has been deleted with no chance of recovery. In this article, we will explore the classic acquisition methods available for iOS devices and focus on the crucial role of Apple iCloud in forensic investigations.

Apple offers by far the most sophisticated solution for backing up, restoring, transferring and synchronizing data across devices belonging to the company’s ecosystem. Apple iCloud can store cloud backups and media files, synchronize essential information between Apple devices, and keep highly sensitive information such as Health and authentication credentials securely synchronized. In this article we’ll explain what kinds of data are stored in iCloud and what you need to access them.

In Apple ecosystem, logical acquisition is the most convenient and the most compatible extraction method, with local backups being a major contributor. Password-protected backups contain significantly more information than unencrypted backups, which is why many forensic tools including iOS Forensic Toolkit automatically apply a temporary backup password before creating a backup. If a temporary password is not removed after the extraction, subsequent extraction attempts, especially made with a different tool, will produce encrypted backups protected with an effectively unknown password. In this article we’ll talk about why this happens and how to deal with it.

Apple ecosystem includes a comprehensive backup ecosystem that includes both local and cloud backups, and data synchronization with end-to-end encryption for some categories. Today we’ll discuss the iCloud backups, particularly targeting issues that are not covered in the official documentation.

Dude, Where Are My Messages?

February 15th, 2022 by Oleg Afonin

Cloud backups are an invaluable source of information whether you download them from the user’s iCloud account or obtain directly from Apple. But why some iCloud backups miss essential bits and pieces of information such as text messages, particularly iMessages? The answer is “end-to-end encryption”, and there’s more to it than just backups.

WhatsApp is the fastest growing instant messenger app. With over 2 billion monthly users, WhatsApp keeps the crown of the most popular instant messaging tool in the Western hemisphere. The recent introduction of end-to-end encrypted backups and the change of Google’s authentication protocol broke things temporarily for EXWA users, but now everything is back to normal. Learn how Elcomsoft Explorer for WhatsApp can download and decrypt encrypted WhatsApp communication histories from Google Drive and Apple iCloud!

Our mobile acquisition tools, Elcomsoft iOS Forensic Toolkit and Elcomsoft Phone Breaker, support a number of different extraction options. While many of our readers know the differences between logical and physical acquisition in general better than most, there are some things in our software making the logical/physical dilemma somewhat different. In this article, we laid out the differences between the extraction methods as implemented in our tools.

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.

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.