Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

iOS 16 brings many changes to mobile forensics. Users receive additional tools to control the sharing and protection of their personal information, while forensic experts will face tighter security measures. In this review, we’ll talk about the things in iOS 16 that are likely to affect the forensic workflow.

Speaking of mobile devices, especially Apple’s, “logical acquisition” is probably the most misused term. Are you sure you know what it is and how to properly use it, especially if you are working in mobile forensics? Let us shed some light on it.

iOS Forensic Toolkit 7.40 brings gapless low-level extraction support for several iOS versions up to and including iOS 15.1 (15.1.1 on some devices), adding compatibility with previously unsupported versions of iOS 14.

Protecting one’s online privacy is becoming increasingly more important. With ISPs selling their customers’ usage data left and right, and various apps, mail and Web trackers contributing to the pool of “anonymized” data, de-anonimyzation becomes possible with big data analysis. This was clearly demonstrated with the recent event highlighted in Catholic priest quits after “anonymized” data revealed alleged use of Grindr.

The proliferation of always connected, increasingly smart devices had led to a dramatic increase in the amount of highly sensitive information stored in manufacturers’ cloud accounts. Apple, Google, and Microsoft are the three major cloud providers who also develop their own hardware and OS ecosystems. In this report, we’ll see how these companies protect their users’ highly sensitive information compared to each other.

For almost a decade, if not longer, I have collaborated with Vladimir Katalov on various digital forensics research topics.  He has always been a great source of guidance, especially on iOS related challenges.  When he offered me a standing invitation to post on the Elcomsoft Blog, I felt very humbled and honored to be given the opportunity to post on the ElcomSoft Blog, and I would like to thank the ElcomSoft team.  This article has also been prepared together, with Vladimir Katalov.

Originally released in September 2016, iOS 10 was regularly updated for most devices until July 2017. The 64-bit iPhones capable of running iOS 10 range from the iPhone 5s to iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. While one is hardly likely to encounter an iOS 10 in the wild, forensic labs still process devices running the older version of the OS. In this update, we’ve brought support for jailbreak-free extraction back to the roots, adding support for the oldest version of iOS capable of running on the iPhone 7 generation of devices. Let’s see what it takes to extract an older iPhone without a jailbreak. In addition, we have expanded support for the Apple TV devices, now offering keychain decryption in addition to file system extraction for both Apple TV 4 (Apple TV HD) and Apple TV 4K running tvOS 13.4 through 13.4.5.

Since iOS 5, Apple allows users to back up their phones and tablets automatically into their iCloud account. Initially, iCloud backups were similar in content to local (iTunes) backups without the password. However, the introduction of iCloud sync has changed the rules of the game. With more types of data synchronized through iCloud as opposed to being backed up, the content of iCloud backups gets slimmed down as synchronized information is excluded from cloud backups (but still present in local backups).

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.

“We shouldn’t ask our customers to make a tradeoff between privacy and security. We need to offer them the best of both. Ultimately, protecting someone else’s data protects all of us.” Guess who said that? The answer is at the end of the article. In the meantime, we keep talking of iPhone and iOS security, following up the Apple vs. Law Enforcement – iOS 4 through 13.5 article. This time we are about to discuss some other aspects of iOS security.