Posts Tagged ‘2FA’

The long-awaited update for Elcomsoft Phone Breaker has arrived. The update brought back the ability to download iCloud backups, which was sorely broken since recent server-side changes introduced by Apple. We are also excited to become the first forensic company to offer support for iCloud backups saved by iOS 14 beta devices, all while supporting the full spectrum of two-factor authentication methods. We are proud to provide the most comprehensive forensic support of Apple iCloud with unmatched performance, accelerating forensic investigations and providing access to critical evidence stored in the cloud.

Multi-factor authentication is the new reality. A password alone is no longer considered sufficient. Phishing attacks, frequent leaks of password databases and the ubiquitous issue of reusing passwords make password protection unsafe. Adding “something that you have” to “something that you know” improves the security considerably, having the potential of cutting a chain attack early even in worst case scenarios. However, not all types of two-factor authentication are equally secure. Let’s talk about the most commonly used type of two-factor authentication: the one based on text messages (SMS) delivered to a trusted phone number.

Passwords are probably the oldest authentication method. Despite their age, passwords remain the most popular authentication method in today’s digital age. Compared to other authentication mechanisms, they have many tangible benefits. They can be as complex or as easy to remember as needed; they can be easy to use and secure at the same time (if used properly).

In Apple’s land, losing your Apple Account password is not a big deal. If you’d lost your password, there could be a number of options to reinstate access to your account. If your account is not using Two-Factor Authentication, you could answer security questions to quickly reset your password, or use iForgot to reinstate access to your account. If you switched on Two-Factor Authentication to protect your Apple Account, you (or anyone else who knows your device passcode and has physical access to one of your Apple devices) can easily change the password; literally in a matter of seconds.

What are iCloud authentication tokens? How they are better than good old passwords? Do they ever expire and when? Where to get them? Is there anything else I should know about tokens? This publication opens a new series on token-based authentication.

We loved what Apple used to do about security. During the past years, the company managed to build a complete, multi-layer system to secure its hardware and software ecosystem and protect its customers against common threats. Granted, the system was not without its flaws (most notably, the obligatory use of a trusted phone number – think SS7 vulnerability – for the purpose of two-factor authentication), but overall it was still the most secure mobile ecosystem on the market.

Who am I to tell you to use two-factor authentication on all accounts that support it? This recommendation coming from someone whose business is supplying law enforcement with tools helping them do their job might be taken with a grain of salt by an average consumer. Yet we still strongly believe that, however good a password you have to encrypt your local documents or NAS drives, any remotely popular online service absolutely requires an additional authentication factor.

Two-factor authentication is essential to secure one’s access to online accounts. We studied multiple implementations of two-factor authentication including those offered by Apple, Google and Microsoft. While Google’s implementation offers the largest number of options, we feel that Apple has the most balanced implementation. The closed ecosystem and the resulting deep integration with the core OS makes it easy for Apple to control exactly how it works and on which devices.

Google has started its journey on convincing people to move away from SMS-based verification, and start receiving push messages via the Google Prompt instead of using six-digit codes. Why does Google want us away from SMS, and why using Google Prompt instead? Let’s try to find out.