Posts Tagged ‘iCloud’

It’s been 10 years since we have released one of our flagship products, Elcomsoft Phone Breaker. The first version appeared in April 2011, and was named “iPhone Password Breaker”.  Since then, we made tons of improvements. The tool lost the “iPhone” designation, and the “Password” part was dropped from its name because it was no longer limited to iPhones or passwords. Today, the tool can offer unmatched features for the mobile forensic specialists.

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.

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?

Reportedly, Apple dropped plan for encrypting backups after FBI complained. Apple’s decision will undoubtedly cause turmoil and will have a number of consequences. In this article, I want to talk about the technical reasons for encrypting or not encrypting cloud backup, and compare Apple’s approach with the data encryption strategies used by Google, who have been encrypting Android backups for several years.

When investigating iOS devices, you may have seen references to the SoC generation. Security researchers and developers of various iOS jailbreaks and exploits often list a few iPhone models followed by a note that mentions “compatible iPad models”. This is especially common when discussing iOS forensics, particularly referring to the checkra1n jailbreak. What do those references mean, and how are the iPhone and iPad models related? Can we count the iPod Touch and Apple TV, too? Let’s have a look.

The number of iOS 14 users is on the raise, and we will see it running on most Apple devices pretty soon. Apple had already stopped signing the last version of iOS 13 on all but legacy hardware. Soon, we will only see it running on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 which didn’t get the update, and on a small fraction of newer devices. If you are working in the forensic field, what do you need to do to make yourself ready for iOS 14? Our software may help.

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.

Location data is one of the most sensitive pieces of personal information. In today’s world, aggregated location data is as sensitive and as valuable as the user’s passwords. Once this data is transmitted to the OS manufacturer’s cloud service or any of the third-party vendors, the user has the right to know exactly what information is collected; who, when, and how has access to it. In today’s article, we will talk about one of the iOS lesser known features called “Significant locations”.

Apple iCloud contains massive amounts of data, which may become highly valuable evidence. The oldest and most frequently mentioned are iCloud backups, which ElcomSoft were the first to extract back in 2012. A lot has changed since then. Today, iCloud backups account for a very minor part of the evidence available in iCloud. Learn what types of data are stored in iCloud, how Apple protects the data with end-to-end encryption, and how to access that valuable evidence with the updated Elcomsoft Phone Breaker.

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).