7 Year Old Figures out how to Bypass Apple Encryption

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have been complaining about Apple’s decision to enable encryption by default on it’s smart devices, and how it will prevent or hinder them from investigating crimes. Well, it seems that a 7 year old was able to figure out how to defeat the encryption on his father’s Apple iPhone 6+.

He just had to borrow his dad’s thumb!

Harrison Green, son of computer security professor Matthew Green, wanted to play his favorite mobile games on his dad’s iPhone. Problem was that he couldn’t log in on his own due to iPhone’s TouchID. Not to be outdone by Apple security, he simply snuck in when his dad was asleep and pressed his dad’s thumb against the touch pad.

Viola!

Though ingenious, Harrison isn’t the first to figure this out. A Virginia judge has already ruled that police can force you to unlock your phone using your fingerprint, though your password is still protected by constitutional rights…

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Book Review: Practical Mobile Forensics

practical mobile forensics“Practical Mobile Forensics” by Satish Bommisetty, Rohit Tamma, and Heather Mahalik is a great book for both the individual looking to learn more about Mobile Forensics and those looking for a good smartphone reference book.

The book covers mobile forensics on Apple iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry devices. With the majority of emphasis spent on Apple and Android based product.

In “Practical Mobile Forensics” you will find extensive information on Apple and Android devices including models, features, architecture layout and security.

It covers multiple tools (commercial and open source) to obtain, decrypt, and analyze smartphones including recovering deleted files, contacts, messages and other data.

I am pretty familiar with the Android platform, so the book was a good refresher course on how to connect to and recover data from an Android Device. Though, as I am not as familiar with the iPhone platform, I found the book a great learning tool about Apple mobile devices and how they function and store data.

I did enjoy too that the author not only covered commercial/ law enforcement recovery tools, but also included numerous step-by-step tutorials in performing many of the same functions with open source utilities. The tutorials were easy to follow and the book was full of reference links to find out more information on the tools and technology behind mobile devices.

Though written from a legal forensics/ law enforcement point of view, security individuals will also find this book a good reference guide for mobile devices.

I highly recommend this book.

Available from Packt Publishing and Amazon.com.

iPad Home and Power Buttons not Functioning

ipad logo

I was brought an iPad 2 today that was on and running, but for some reason the power and home buttons were not working right. Pressing or holding the power button did nothing. Hitting the home button would not take you back to the desktop, but oddly enough it seemed to take you back a screen in the settings page. So it seemed that the Home button was still functioning at some level.

Searched the internet and found that this has happened on many iPads. One person suggested to hold the Home button, then rotate the tablet from portrait to landscape mode. Though it seemed to work for many people, it did nothing on this one.

Finally I had to hit and hold both the Power and Home buttons for like 15 seconds and the unit finally returned to the desktop. I hit the Home button twice to see what was running. There were about 20 programs open!

I closed them all and rebooted the iPad.

Problem solved!