ElcomSoft undoes Apple's location security fix

May 25, 2011 by Katie Gatto weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- ElcomSoft, a Russian computer forensics company that first came to the attention of the public in 2002 when it was sued and cleared of violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for its eBook copyright cracking software, is in the news for cracking again and this time the target of their ingenuity is the iPhone. ElcomSoft has developed a toolkit that is designed to help law enforcement agencies to access encrypted file systems on Apple's iPhone and get user location data.

The toolkit, which makes use of the recent news that iPhones track the locations of their users, brings the company into a voracious debate about the security and privacy rights of Smartphone users. The tracking, which Apple claims was a bug in the software, is also found in both Windows Phone 7 and Android operating systems.

Apples fix, iOS 4.3.3, made the law enforcement community unhappy, since they had been using the iPhone and iPad geolocation data in criminal investigations. ElcomSoft has stepped in to fill in the gap in the data by breaking the phones encryption. The CEO Vladimir Katalov said in a statement that this will provide their customers with, " ...full access to all information stored in devices running iOS 4."

While the company says that it will only make this cracking software available to law enforcement, intelligence, forensic organizations and select government agencies, this new development does create another serious concern about if having a web connection 24/7 is worth the amount of data you are giving up for collection on a daily basis.

Explore further: Carnegie Mellon system lets iPad users explore data with their fingers

More information: www.elcomsoft.com/eppb.html

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User comments : 3

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AngryMoose
not rated yet May 27, 2011
Don't see it as much of an issue, if they have taken your phone off you and extracted all of its data. You probably did something wrong anyway.

Guess it could be a problem if/when the software gets in to the public, it could be used to gather quite a lot of info from a found phone or if some clever person works out how to make the phone remotely give you a copy of its storage.
blob
not rated yet May 28, 2011
Hm... once this gets out just think of the damage it could cause... location-based ads is annoying, but how about someone checking whether you're at home or not when they plan on robbing you.
Na_Reth
not rated yet May 28, 2011
Hm... once this gets out just think of the damage it could cause... location-based ads is annoying, but how about someone checking whether you're at home or not when they plan on robbing you.


If you are a specific target for a robber, they could just do a stakeout anyway. Plus they could track GPS and use a sound satellite, WiFi sniffer etc to see if you are home.

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