Posts Tagged ‘keychain’

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.

If you are familiar with iOS acquisition methods, you know that the best results can be obtained with a full file system acquisition. However, extracting the file system may require jailbreaking, which may be risky and not always permitted. Are there any reasons to use jailbreaks for extracting evidence from Apple devices?

It’s been a week since Apple has released iOS 14.2 as well as iOS 12.4.9 for older devices. Just a few days later, the developers updated the checkra1n jailbreak with support for new devices and iOS versions. What does that mean for iOS forensics? Let’s have a look; we have done some testing, and our discoveries are positively consistent with our expectations. Just one exception: to our surprise, Apple did not patch the long lasting vulnerability in iOS 12.4.9 that leaves the door open to full file system extraction and keychain acquisition without jailbreaking.

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.

Last year, we have developed an innovative way to extract iPhone data without a jailbreak. The method’s numerous advantages were outweighed with a major drawback: an Apple ID enrolled in the paid Apple’s Developer program was required to sign the extraction binary. This is no longer an issue on Mac computers with the improved sideloading technique.

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.

We have published multiple articles on iPhone backup passwords already, covering the different aspects of the backup protection. In this publication, we have collected the most important information about the things you can do under different circumstances, some software recommendations, and some other practical tips and tricks, in a brief and simple form.

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.

Is jailbreaking an Apple TV worth it? If you are working in the forensics, it definitely is. When connected to the user’s Apple account with full iCloud access, the Apple TV synchronizes a lot of data. That data may contain important evidence, and sometimes may even help access other iCloud data. I have some great news for the forensic crowd: the Apple TV does not have a passcode. And some bad news: jailbreaking is not as easy and straightforward as we’d like it to be. Let’s have a look at what can be done.