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By 25 May 2011 | Categories: news

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A Russian security company named ElcomSoft recently succeeded in breaking through the password and encryption systems of Apple's popular iPhone.

There's no need for undue panic if you're an iPhone owner though, as this particular firm happens to be one of the good guys. According to arstechnica, Elcomsoft's software is split into two parts, one being a password breaker and the other capable of extracting numbers used to create iOS decryption keys.

The password cracker is commercially available for anyone to purchase, but the brute-force program can be easily flummoxed by simply using a longer, more complex password (as you're supposed to). It will however be able to easily uncover basic 1-2-3-4 pincodes which some users still have. The tool is more useful for actually remembering long forgotten passwords since much of its efficiency comes from limiting possible word combinations.

The more complex, and much more invasive part of the toolset, will only be made available to official law enforcement and forensic agencies around the world. This decryption method will be able to ascertain a phone's unique device key (UID) and escrow keys calculated using UID and escrow pairing records. Through this, decrypted images of the device can be created, and all its iOS secrets will be spilled.

This method does require physical access to the device in question, so you only really have to worry about it once you've already been arrested, and by then it's probably too late.  

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