Archive for the ‘Tips & Tricks’ category

DFU Mode Cheat Sheet

January 14th, 2021 by Oleg Afonin

The Device Firmware Upgrade mode, or simply DFU, just got a second breath. The ability to image the file system, decrypt the keychain and even do passcode unlocks on some older iPhone models has been made possible thanks to the checkm8 exploit and the checkra1n jailbreak, both of which require switching the phone into DFU. The procedure is undocumented, and the steps are different for the various devices.

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?

Investigating a BitLocker-encrypted hard drive can be challenging, especially if the encryption keys are protected by the computer’s hardware protection, the TPM. In this article, we’ll talk about the protection that TPM chips provide to BitLocker volumes, and discuss vulnerabilities found in today’s TPM modules.

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!

The past two years have become a turning point in iOS acquisition. The release of a bootrom-based exploit and the corresponding jailbreak made BFU acquisition possible on multiple devices regardless of security patches. Another exploit covers the entire iOS 13 range on all devices regardless of their hardware revision. ElcomSoft developed a jailbreak-free extraction method for the entire iOS 9.0-13.7 range. Let’s see what low-level acquisition options are available today, and when to use what.

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.

Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery and Hashcat support a number of different attacks ranging from brute-force all the way to scriptable, dictionary-based attacks. The costs and performance are extremely important factors. We charge several hundred dollars for what, in the end, can be done with a free tool. Which tool has better performance, and are the extra features worth the price premium? Let’s check it out.

As opposed to live system analysis, experts performing the cold analysis are not dealing with authenticated user sessions. Instead, cold analysis can be viewed as an intermediary measure with live system analysis on the one end and the examination of a forensic disk image on another. Why and when would you use cold system analysis, what can you do and what benefits does it bring compared to the traditional approach? Read along to find out.