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Posts Tagged ‘Messages’

How to Obtain iMessages from iCloud

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

iOS 11.4 has finally brought a feature Apple promised almost a year ago: the iMessage sync via iCloud. This feature made its appearance in iOS 11 beta, but was stripped from the final release. It re-appeared and disappeared several times during the iOS 11 development cycle, and has finally made it into iOS 11.4. Let’s have a look at how iMessages are protected and how to download them from iCloud.

iMessages in iCloud

Even before iOS 11 Apple had Continuity (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204681), a convenient mechanism for accessing iMessages from multiple Apple devices registered with the same Apple ID. With Continuity, users can effectively send and receive iMessages on their Mac. Speaking of Mac computers, one could access iMessages by simply signing in to the same iCloud account in the Messages app. Without Continuity, one would only receive iMessages with no SMS; with Continuity, both iMessages and SMS messages would be delivered.

However, even with Continuity in place, iMessages were never stored in iCloud or synced with iCloud. Instead, the messages were only stored locally on enrolled devices. This led to a major problem, making it impossible for the user to keep iMessage conversations in sync between their iPhone, iPad and Mac devices. If the user deleted a message in the iPhone app, it would not be deleted on their Mac, and vice versa. Forensic experts knew about this, and made active use of this feature. Multiple cases are known where law enforcement experts were analyzing the user’s Mac in order to gain access to iMessages that were already wiped from their iPhone.

iCloud sync for iMessage introduced in iOS 11.4 takes care of this problem by changing the way iMessage sync is handled. Instead of using the flawed Continuity mechanism, iOS 11.4 now stores iMessages in iCloud. The messages are automatically synchronized across all enrolled devices on the user’s Apple ID. iCloud sync works similar to existing synchronizations such as iCloud Keychain, iCloud Photo Library or iCloud contacts. (more…)

Elcomsoft Phone Viewer: Faster and Easier

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

ElcomsoftPhoneViewer_SnapshotAs you may already know, we have just updated our recently released forensic tool, Elcomsoft Phone Viewer. The update received a major performance boost and numerous usability enhancements.

So what’s the point of having a “yet another” mobile forensic tool? Aren’t there enough already? In fact, we considered making this tool for a long time, and were hesitant to make the move exactly because there are so many great forensic packages already. However, our customers kept asking for a lighter, smaller, faster and easier alternative to complement our existing tools. They cited how bulky those all-in-one forensic packages were, and mentioned training courses they had to take just to begin using those tools. Call it minimalism, but we made a tool that doesn’t require training sessions to use, and employs the same familiar user interface as other ElcomSoft tools. (more…)