Archive for the ‘Hardware’ category

A lot of people have asked me over the past couple of months – “What’s that cable on your desk, James?”. Today I’ll tell you all about it. Every accessory that connects to your iPhone via lightning is ‘flashed’ with an Accessory ID. The Accessory ID essentially identifies the device connected to the iPhone as a specific type. For example, a Lightning-To-Ethernet adapter will identify itself with it’s assigned Accessory ID so the iPhone knows how to treat the device and interact with it. It’s sort of like directing the iPhone to use a specific driver to interact with said device.

Modern applications use highly secure and thus deliberately slow algorithms for verifying passwords. For this reason, the password recovery process may take a lot of time and require extreme computational resources. You can build your own powerful cluster to accelerate brute-force attacks, but if you only need to recover a password every once in a while, maintaining your own cluster may not be the best investment. Cloud services can help do a one-off job faster. For a long time, Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery had supported Amazon cloud services with automatic deployment on Amazon’s powerful GPU-accelerated servers. The latest update brings support for Microsoft Azure, adding the ability to automatically deploy Password Recovery Agents to virtual machines created in Microsoft Azure. In this article I will describe the deployment steps.

Over the last several years, the use of smart wearables has increased significantly. With 141 million smartwatch units sold in 2018, the number of smart wearables sold has nearly doubled compared to the year before. Among the various competitors, the Apple Watch is dominating the field with more than 22.5 million of wearable devices sold in 2018. Year over year, the Apple Watch occupies nearly half of the global market.

In our previous article Why SSDs Die a Sudden Death (and How to Deal with It) we talked about SSD endurance and how it’s not the only thing affecting real life reliability. In that article, we assumed that manufacturers’ specifications of certain SSD models remain similar for a given SSD model. In fact, this is not the case. Quite a few manufacturers play tricks with consumers, releasing a certain SSD model with top notch specifications only to downgrade them at some point during the production cycle (but certainly after receiving its share of glowing reviews). While some OEMs do note the change at least in the revision number, the rest will just quote the small print allowing them to “change specifications at any time without prior notice”. We’ve seen well known SSD manufacturers switching from reliable MLC NAND to planar TLC trash within the same model (and zero notice to potential buyers). How can you tell which NAND configuration your particular SSD drive employs and whether or not it lives up to your expectations? Read along to find out.

Many thanks to Roman Morozov, ACELab technical support specialist, for sharing his extensive knowledge and expertise and for all the time he spent ditching bugs in this article.

Many thanks to Roman Morozov, ACELab technical support specialist, for sharing his extensive knowledge and expertise and for all the time he spent ditching bugs in this article.

The iPhone Xs employs a revised version of the OLED panel we’ve seen in last year’s iPhone X. The iPhone Xs Max uses a larger, higher-resolution version of the panel. Both panels feature higher peak brightness compared to the OLED panel Apple used in the iPhone X. While OLED displays are thinner and more power-efficient compared to their IPS counterparts, most OLED displays (including those installed in the iPhone Xs and Xs max) will flicker at lower brightness levels. The screen flickering is particularly visible in low ambient brightness conditions, and may cause eyestrain with sensitive users. The OLED flickering issue is still mostly unheard of by most consumers. In this article we will demystify OLED display flickering and provide a step by step instruction on how to conveniently disable (and re-enable) PWM flickering on iPhone Xs and Xs Max displays to reduce eyestrain. (more…)

GPU acceleration is the thing when you need to break a password. Whether you use brute force, a dictionary of common words or a highly customized dictionary comprised of the user’s existed passwords pulled from their Web browser, extracted from their smartphone or downloaded from the cloud, sheer performance is what you need to make the job done in reasonable time.

The most spoken thing about iOS 11.4.1 is undoubtedly USB Restricted Mode. This highly controversial feature is apparently built in response to threats created by passcode cracking solutions such as those made by Cellerbrite and Grayshift. On unmanaged devices, the new default behavior is to disable data connectivity of the Lightning connector after one hour since the device was last unlocked, or one hour since the device has been disconnected from a trusted USB accessory. In addition, users can quickly disable the USB port manually by following the S.O.S. mode routine.

Cloud services such as Amazon EC2 can quickly deliver additional computing power on demand. Amazon’s recent introduction of the a type of EC2 Compute Units made this proposition much more attractive than ever before. With Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery now supporting Amazon’s new P2 instances, each with up to 16 GPU units, users can get as much speed as they need the moment they need. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using cloud compute units for password recovery, and provide a step-by-step guide on how to add virtual instances to Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery. (more…)