Archive for the ‘Mobile’ category

One of the main problems of iCloud forensics (unknown account passwords aside) is the sporadic nature of cloud backups. Experts often find out that a given user either does not have device backups in their iCloud account at all, or only has a very old backup. This happens primarily because of Apple’s policy of only granting 5GB of storage to the users of the free tier. While users can purchase additional storage for mere 99 cents a months, very few do so. iCloud Photos, downloads and other data quickly fill up the allotted storage space, leaving no space for a fresh cloud backup.

How do you extract an Apple Watch? While several extraction methods are available, you need an adapter if you want to get the data directly from the device. There are several different options available on the market, some of them costing north of $200. We tested a large number of such adapters. How do they stand to the marketing claims? In this article, I will share my experience with these adapters.

While we are still working on the new version of Elcomsoft iOS Forensic Toolkit featuring forensically sound and nearly 100% compatible checkm8 extraction, an intermediate update is available with two minor yet important improvements. The update makes it easier to install the tool on macOS computers, and introduces a new agent extraction option.

For more than ten years, we’ve been exploring iPhone backups, both local and iCloud, and we know a lot about them. Let’s reveal some secrets about the different types of backups and how they compare to each other.

It’s been 10 years since we have released one of our flagship products, Elcomsoft Phone Breaker. The first version appeared in April 2011, and was named “iPhone Password Breaker”.  Since then, we made tons of improvements. The tool lost the “iPhone” designation, and the “Password” part was dropped from its name because it was no longer limited to iPhones or passwords. Today, the tool can offer unmatched features for the mobile forensic specialists.

Back in 2019, independent researcher axi0mX has developed a ground-breaking exploit. Targeting a vulnerability in the bootloader of several generations of iOS devices, checkm8 made it possible to obtain BootROM code execution and perform forensic analysis on a long list of devices running a wide range of iOS versions. In this article, we’ll talk about the forensic use of checkm8 with iOS Forensic Toolkit.

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.

The iPhone recovery mode has limited use for mobile forensics. However, even the limited amount of information available through recovery mode can be essential for an investigation. Recovery access can be also the only available analysis method if the device becomes unusable, is locked or disabled after ten unsuccessful unlocking attempts, or had entered the USB restricted mode. Learn how to enter and leave Recovery and what information you can obtain in this mode.