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How can you obtain the highest amount of data from an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or Apple Watch? This is not as simple as it may seem. Multiple overlapping extraction methods exist, and some of them are limited to specific versions of the OS. Let’s go through them and summarize their availability and benefits.

Extracting the fullest amount of information from the iPhone, which includes a file system image and decrypted keychain records, often requires installing a jailbreak. Even though forensically sound acquisition methods that work without jailbreaking do exist, they may not be available depending on the tools you use. A particular combination of iOS hardware and software may also render those tools ineffective, requiring a fallback to jailbreak. Today, the two most popular and most reliable jailbreaks are checkra1n and unc0ver. How do they fare against each other, and when would you want to use each?

Today’s smartphones are a forensic goldmine. Your smartphone learns and knows about your daily life more than everything and everyone else. It tracks your location and counts your footsteps, AI’s your pictures and takes care of your payments. With that much data concentrated in a single device, it is reasonable to expect the highest level of protection. In this article, we’ll review the timeline of Apple’s measures to protect their users’ data and the countermeasures used by the law enforcement. This time no cloud, just pure device forensics.

The USB restricted mode was introduced in iOS 11.4.1, improved in iOS 12 and further strengthened in iOS 13. The USB restrictions are a real headache for iPhone investigators. We’ve discovered a simple yet effective trick to fool it in some cases, but currently it securely protects the iPhones from passcode cracking and BFU (Before First Unlock) extractions. However, there is a trick allowing you to obtain some information from devices with disabled USB interface. Learn how to use this trick with the recently updated iOS Forensic Toolkit.

The iPhone is one of the most popular smartphone devices. Thanks to its huge popularity, the iPhone gets a lot of attention from the forensic community. Multiple acquisition methods exist, allowing forensic users to obtain more or less information with more or less efforts. Some of these acquisition methods are based on undocumented exploits and public jailbreaks, while some other methods utilize published APIs to access information. In this article, we’ll compare the types and amounts of data one can extract from the same 256-GB iPhone 11 Pro Max using three different acquisition methods: advanced logical, full file system and iCloud extraction.

We recently introduced a new acquisition method for iPhone and iPad devices. The fast, simple and safe extraction agent requires no jailbreak, and delivers the full file system image and the keychain. The latest release of Elcomsoft iOS Forensic Toolkit expanded this method to iOS 13 and filled the gaps in some versions of iOS 12 that were missing support (such as iOS 12.3 and 12.4.1). Finally, we now officially support the latest generation of iPhone devices including the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. The new compatibility matrix becomes significantly more diverse with this release, so bear with us to learn which iOS devices can be extracted without a jailbreak.

In our recent article iPhone Acquisition Without a Jailbreak I mentioned that agent-based extraction requires the use of an Apple ID that has been registered in Apple’s Developer Program. Participation is not free and comes with a number of limitations. Why do you need to become a “developer”, what are the limitations, and is there a workaround? Read along to find out.

Elcomsoft iOS Forensic Toolkit can perform full file system acquisition and decrypt the keychain from non-jailbroken iPhone and iPad devices. The caveat: the device must be running iOS 11 or 12 (except iOS 12.3, 12.3.1 and 12.4.1), and you must use an Apple ID registered in Apple’s Developer Program. In this article, I’ll explain the pros and contras of the new extraction method compared to traditional acquisition based on the jailbreak.

The popular unc0ver jailbreak has been updated to v4, and this is quite a big deal. The newest update advertises support for the latest A12 and A13 devices running iOS 13 through 13.3. The current version of iOS is 13.3.1. None of the older versions (including iOS 13.3) are signed, but still there are a lot of A12/A12X/A13 devices floating around. Until now, file system and keychain extraction was a big problem. The newest unc0ver jailbreak makes it possible.

Just days ago, we have reviewed the data stored in iCloud, and studied its encryption mechanisms. We also discussed the discrepancies between the data that is stored in the cloud and the data that’s provided to the law enforcement. In case you missed it, make sure to check out Apple vs. Law Enforcement: Cloud Forensics. Today, the differences are great; Apple is using point-to-point encryption to protect certain types of data. However, it has not always been that way. Apple security model changed year after year. This article reviews the timeline of Apple security changes over time.