Posts Tagged ‘iOS’

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.

Everyone’s iPhones contain overwhelming amounts of highly sensitive personal information. Even if some of that data is not stored on the device, the iPhone itself or the data inside can work as a key to other many things from bank accounts to private family life. While there are many possible vectors of attack, the attacker will always try exploiting the weakest link. Learn to think like one, find the weakest link and eliminate the potential vulnerabilities before they are exploited. This guide comes from the forensic guys making tools for the law enforcement, helping the good guys break into the bad guys’ iPhones.

When connecting an iPhone to a computer for the first time, you’ll see the prompt asking you whether to trust the computer. Trusting a computer enables your phone and computer to exchange information. However, should the trusted computer fall into the wrong hands, the pairing record from that computer could be used to pull information from your iPhone. Learn about the risks associated with pairing records and how to block unwanted connections by untrusting connected computers from your iPhone.

The iOS backup system is truly unrivalled. The highly comprehensive, versatile and secure backups can be created with Apple iTunes. For the user, local backups are a convenient and easy way to transfer data to a new device or restore an existing one after a factory reset. For forensic experts, iOS backups are an equally convenient, versatile and easy way to obtain a copy of the user’s data without attempting to break into the device. In malicious hands, the backup becomes a dangerous weapon. Logins and passwords from the Keychain allow hackers accessing the user’s social accounts, messages, and financial information. A backup password can be set to protect local backups, but it can be removed just as easily shall the hacker have access to the physical iPhone and know its passcode. In this article, we’ll discuss how the Screen Time password can be used to further strengthen the protection of local backups.

iOS 14 is officially out. It’s a big release from the privacy protection standpoint, but little had changed for the forensic expert. In this article, we’ll review what has changed in iOS 14 in the ways relevant for the forensic crowd.

The keychain is one of the hallmarks of the Apple ecosystem. Containing a plethora of sensitive information, the keychain is one of the best guarded parts of the walled garden. At the same time, the keychain is relatively underexplored by the forensic community. The common knowledge has it that the keychain contains the users’ logins and passwords, and possibly some payment card information. The common knowledge is missing the point: the keychain contains literally thousands of records belonging to various apps and the system that are required to access lots of other sensitive information. Let’s talk about the keychain, its content and its protection, and the methods used to extract, decrypt and analyze the various bits and pieces.

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.

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.

“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.

Every other day, Apple makes the work of forensic specialists harder. Speaking of iCloud, we partially covered this topic in Apple vs. Law Enforcement: Cloud Forensics and Apple vs Law Enforcement: Cloudy Times, but there is more to it today. The recent iOS (13.4) and macOS (10.15.4) releases brought some nasty surprises. Let’s talk about them.