Posted on : 05-10-2013 | By : Killian Bell | In : Cult of Mac
The security features built into Apple’s iOS software are so good that the police are unable to gain access to defendant’s iPhones when they need to. Apple itself is able to bypass the security software and decrypt locked devices — and it do so when the police request it. But the company has so many requests that it has to add police to a lengthy waiting list.
CNET learned of this waiting list through court documents that describe how federal agents were unable to decrypt an iPhone 4S owned by a Kentucky man accused of distributing crack cocaine, and so they turned to Apple for help.
An agent from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) “contacted Apple to obtain assistant in unlocking the device,” wrote U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell, but the request was “placed on a waiting list by the company.”
CNET reports that ATF agent Rob Maynard spent three months trying to “locate a local, state, or federal law enforcement agency with the forensic capabilities to unlock” an iPhone 4S. After every one said that they did not have the capabilities, Maynard turned to Apple.
Apple’s waiting list was so long at the time that Maynard was told he would have to wait at least 7 weeks for the device to be decrypted. In the end, it was more like four months.
Of course, some iPhone users may be concerned that Apple is happy to unlock devices at all. But the company has little choice in the matter.
According to a training manual from the Sacramento sheriff’s office, Apple is required to “assist law enforcement agents” with “bypassing the cell phone user’s passcode so that the agents may search the iPhone.”
Once that passcode is bypassed, Apple downloads the contents of the device to “an external memory device,” which is then handed back to the police.
It’s unclear whether Apple has purposely built a “backdoor” into its iOS software for access in these situations, or whether it uses custom tools to gain access. As you might expect, the company declined to discuss its secrets with CNET.
Whatever the case may be, this should certainly be a warning to smartphone users. No matter how complex your passcode may be, there’s a good chance your smartphone manufacturer is able to bypass it, and the police will force it to do so if it’s necessary.
And Apple isn’t the only company that works with the police. Google will also reset passwords on Android-powered devices, then hand that reset password to the police so that they can gain access to the device.
“That is something that I don’t think most people realize,” says Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. ”Even if you turn on disk encryption with a password, these firms can and will provide the government with a way to get your data.”
Sometimes law enforcement agencies don’t need to contact your smartphone manufacturer for help. If you’re smartphones security software isn’t as good, then there’s a chance they are able to decrypt it themselves. There are also third-party companies that specialize in this kind of thing.
A company called Elcomsoft has an “iOS Forensic Toolkit” that performs a brute-force cryptographic attack on a four-digit iOS 4 or iOS 5 passcode in 20 to 40 minutes. ”Complex passcodes can be recovered, but require more time,” the company says.
Modern iOS devices running iOS 6 are harder to hack, because they use hardware encryption. The iPhone 5, for example, isn’t listed in Elcomsoft’s list of devices compatible with its toolkit.
Posted on : 03-21-2013 | By : Buster Heine | In : Cult of Mac
We don’t often think of Apple as a cloud services company because so much emphasis is placed on hardware, but for many consumers, Apple’s iCloud is their first experience using cloud storage.
Over this past fall, Strategy Analytics conducted a study on which cloud services are the most popular in the U.S. right now, and iCloud grabbed the top spot with 27% usage.
Apple has been pushing iCloud and iTunes Match usage hard ever since the release of iOS 5 two years ago. Dropbox and Amazon Cloud Drive rounded out the top three in the study, with 17% and 15% usage.
Music has been the driving force behind cloud services so far. 45% of the content on Dropbox are audio files, while iTunes Match specializes in streaming music to your iPhone. There’s still a lot of room for growth in the cloud though. Out of 2,300 people that participated in the study, over 55% said they’ve never used a cloud media service at all.
Posted on : 06-16-2012 | By : Rene Ritchie | In : TiPB
Apple's 2012 World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) is now over in session but not in spirit. Given the announcement of Retina Macs, OS X Mountain Lion's release date and price, and the iOS 6 beta and feature set. We'll be going over all of them in more detail in the days and weeks ahead, but we'll start by going over the numbers here and now.
23: Number of WWDCs to date
1:43: Time it took to sell out
60: Number of countries with attendees present
112: Number of sessions
125: Number of labs
1000+: Number of Apple engineers in attendance
400,000,000: Number of credit card accounts on the App Store
650,000: Number of apps on the App Store
225,000: Number of iPad apps on the App Store (34% of total)
~300: Number of competing tablet apps
30,000,000,000: Numbers of apps downloaded from the App Store
$5,000,000,000: Amount of money paid by Apple to developers (Apple has kept $2.142,85713)
120: Number of countries with App Stores
32: Number of additional App Store being added in June (152 total)
8: Number of GB new MacBook Air RAM can be configured for
512: Number of GB new MacBook Air SSD can be configured for
10: Number of times faster new USB 3 port is compared to USB 2.
0.71: Thinness of new Retina MacBook Pro
4.46: Weight of new Retina MacBook Pro
2880: Number of pixels in the new Retina MacBook Pro's width
1800: Number of pixels in the new Retina MacBook Pro's height
220: Pixel density per inch of the new Retina MacBook Pro's display
5,184,000: Total pixels in the new Retina MacBook Pro's display
75%: Reduction of glare compared to previous glossy MacBook Air
8: Number of major releases (cats)
66,000,000: Number of Mac users
40%: Percentage of OS X users running OS X 10.7 Lion
9: Number of months it took Lion to reach 40%
27: Number of months it took Windows 7 to reach 50%
200: Number of new features in Mountain Lion
8: Number of new features in Mountain Lion highlighted by Apple (iCloud, Notification Center, Dictation, Share sheets, Safari, Power sleep, AirVideo, Game Center)
125,000,000: Number of registered iCloud users
11: Number of Mac apps automatically configured to work with iCloud (Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, FaceTime, iTunes, Game Center, Mac App Store, Notes, Safari, Messages)
6: Number of new features for China (Baidu, Sina Weibo, Tudou, Youku, Improved text input, Dictionary)
1700: Number of new APIs for developers
$19.99: Upgrade price for Mountain Lion (for Snow Leopard users and up)
365 million: Number of iOS devices sold by March, 2012
Posted on : 05-25-2012 | By : Rene Ritchie | In : TiPB
Absinthe 2.0 has launched and it provides support for a fully unthethered jailbreak under iOS 5.1.1 (and only iOS 5.1.1) for the following devices:
iPad, iPad 2, new iPad (except the 2012 iPad 2, which will come later)
iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S
iPod touch 3, iPod touch 4
Developed by a collaborative "Dream Team" between Chronic-Dev Team and iPhone Dev Team, Absinthe 2.0 and promises to be so easy, your "grandma could do it." Here are the steps:
Make a backup of your device in iTunes by right clicking on your device name under the ‘Devices’ menu and click ‘Back Up’.
Once your backup is complete return to your device and go to Settings – General – Reset – Erase all Content and Settings. This will make the jailbreak process much faster.
Open Absinthe and be sure you are still connected via USB cable to your computer.
Click ‘Jailbreak’ and wait…. just be patient and do not disconnect your device.
Once jailbroken return to iTunes and restore your backup from earlier. Right click on your device name under the ‘Devices’ menu in the left panel of iTunes and click ‘Restore from Back Up…’ then select the latest backup you created before. (restoring this backup will return all the content previously on your device ie, apps, photos, etc.)
You can grab the download via the source link below, and if you need any help, jump right into our Jailbreak Forum.
IOS JAILBREAK DREAM TEAM RELEASES ABSINTHE 2.0 – IOS 5.1.1 JAILBREAK AT #HITB2012AMS
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS – 25th May 2012 – Today @pod2g and the @ChronicDevTeam announced the highly anticipated release of Absinthe 2.0 at #HITB2012AMS held at the Okura Hotel in Amsterdam.
Known as the “iOS Jailbreak Dream Team”, @p0sixninja, @pod2g, @planetbeing, @pimskeks released the untethered jailbreak for iOS 5.1.1 on the final day of the week-long conference. Echoing Steve Jobs’ trademark WWDC encore of ‘… and one more thing’, the team announced the release of Absinthe 2.0 during the closing minutes of their 2 hours talk at the conference.
Absinthe 2.0 will affect the majority of Apple devices running iOS 5.1.1 including iPad 1,1 – 2,1 – 2,2 – 2,3 – 3,1 – 3,2 – 3,3, the iPhone 2,1 – 3,1 – 3,3 – 4,1 and iPod 3,1 – 4,1. The jailbreak does not support the third generation Apple TV and support for iPad 2,4 will be added at a later date.
The team announced that the new Absinthe 2.0 will be available immediately for download from the official ChronicDevTeam website: http://greenpois0n.com The release announcement came after recent rife speculation spreading through online social networks on the actual release date and scope of Absinthe 2.0. The jailbreak community’s interest was first piqued when the team announced they were scheduled to appear at HITBSecConf2012 – Amsterdam to deliver not one but two talks covering both the Corona (A4) and Absinthe (A5) jailbreaks for Apple devices. On the 20th of May, a tweet from team member @pod2g stating the release of Absinthe 2.0 was ‘in a matter of days’ led to further speculation that the final release would be made at HITBSecConf which ran from 21 – 25 May.
“We want to take this opportunity to thank Hack in the Box for giving us the chance to all get together for the first time, especially in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, it has been a great delight for us to announce our next release at this event. Thank you to all our supporters and keep jailbreaking!! ”
“This was certainly one of the most highly anticipated talks we’ve EVER had at one of our HITB conferences, and we’ve done quite a few of these. The excitement from the Dream Team followers and overall Twitter and online buzz has been terrific!”, said Dhillon Andrew Kannabhiran, Founder and CEO of Hack In The Box.
“It was truly an honor to host the Dream Team in their first ever ‘real world’ meet up and we would like to thank them for taking the time and effort to make the trip over to not only join us at our third European outing, but to help kick-start our celebration of ’10 years of HITB awesomeness’ with the release of Absinthe 2.0!”, he added.
HITBSecConf2012 – Malaysia (#HITB2012KUL) marks our 10th annual event in Asia and runs from October 8th till 11th at the Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur featuring 42 of HITB’s best speakers of the decade in one massive event. Registration is already open: http://conference.hitb.org/hitbsecconf2012kul/
About iOS Jailbreak Dream Team: The group is made up of members from the Chronic-Dev Team and the iPhone Dev Team and consists of @MuscleNerd @pod2g @planetbeing @p0sixninja @pimskeks.
About iOS jailbreaking: iOS jailbreaking, or simply jailbreaking, is the process of removing the limitations imposed by Apple on devices running the iOS operating system through use of custom security exploits. Jailbreaking allows users to gain elevated access to the operating system. Consequently it also allows users to download additional applications, extensions and themes that are unavailable through the official Apple App Store.
Posted on : 03-11-2012 | By : Rene Ritchie | In : TiPB
Complete feature guide to Apple’s iOS 5.1 software update for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
Apple typically ships iOS x.1 updates with new iPod touches in the fall and includes several new, fairly nifty features. Last year, however, there was no new iPod touch and so iOS 5.1 comes to us in the spring, and with only a few, small changes and enhancements (and one arguable feature reduction). Maybe that’s because iOS 5 was such a huge update, or they’ve saving more for a potential iOS 5.2 later this spring or summer, or iOS 6 this fall.
Either way, iOS 5.1 is here, and so is your walkthrough.
Previously on iOS
iOS 5.1 is based on the huge iOS 5 update that happened in October of 2011, and all versions of iOS that came before. For a complete rundown of those releases, see our previous walkthroughs.
iOS 5.1 feels like it had the longer beta period of any iOS version, the first beta arriving on November 28, 2011, the second on December 12, 2011, the third on January 9, 2012, and the Gold Master (GM) seed… arriving never. Unlike any previous beta I can remember, Apple didn’t release any final build for developers, they simply released it to everyone on March 7, 2012, as part of the new iPad event. That neatly put an end to any hope that the especially long beta period would lead to a plethora of new features. Indeed, there are only a few.
Lock screen camera access (iPhone only)
In iOS 5, double-clicking the Home button caused a camera icon to pop up on the lock screen, and tapping the camera icon sent you straight to the Camera app (even if your iPhone was password protected). It was a fast way to take a picture, but apparently it wasn’t fast enough. With iOS 5.1 the camera icon is always on the lock screen and instead of tapping, all you have to do is swipe up to “lift away” the lock screen and reveal the Camera app.
While in the Camera app, you can take pictures and tap through to the Camera roll and see any of the photos you’ve taken, but if your iPhone is passcode locked that’s all you can see. (If it’s not passcode locked, you can click the Home button and use your iPhone as if you’d unlocked it normally).
When you’re done, or if you choose not to take any photos, you can swipe down from the status bar to “pull down” the Lock screen once again. (It’s the same gesture as you’d used to access Notification Center.)
Apple’s intelligent, voice controlled assistant, Siri, remains in beta some five months after it was first released. And that’s a good thing. Voice control required a ton of data and Apple’s not doubt collecting and analyzing as much as they can to make the service better. Since Siri still fails on occasion — though it at least tells you when that happens, unlike dictation which just returns to cursor, laughing at you — there’s no need to rush. Get it right.
Japanese support (iPhone 4S only)
With iOS 5.1, Apple has added a single, solitary new language to Siri. It’s not English (Scottish), so Siri still won’t understand “jammy dodger” or “ship batty”, and it’s not any other English localization or Romantic language like Italian. It’s Japanese, the first Asian language to be supported.
To activate Dictation, just tap the microphone icon on the keyboard.
The iPhone home screen received one of the most notorious updates in recent history, and also lost functionality that many power users considered extremely convenient.
Apple apparently bowed to pressure from AT&T and changed the indicator in the top left corner from 3G to 4G. While 4G is often thought to identify the next-generation LTE networks that can reach 72+ mbps, marketing has overcome morals and T-Mobile, AT&T, and others have begun to classify HSPA+ 14.4 as 4G. Since some versions of HSPA+ can reach as high as 42 mbps, while still not LTE, it is fairly fast. It’s also a fairly consumer-hostile thing to do. It may be easier for carriers to print 4G on boxes or change status bar graphics than build actual LTE networks, it confuses customers and ultimately undermines trust.
Shame on you.
Note: Other carriers with similar or even better HSPA+ networks than AT&T still show up as 3G.
iOS 5 introduced URL schemes for Settings. By adding those URLs to the Home screen as icons, users could quickly tap into brightness controls, Wi-Fi toggles, Bluetooth toggles, etc. It was awkward but convenient. It was also a security risk and something Apple seems not to have meant to surface for the general public. iOS 5.1 no longer allows those shortcuts to work.
While iOS 4.1 brought HDR photos, and there remain rumors of panorama photos hidden in iOS 5, no such feature was surfaced in iOS 5.1. Instead, a rather important oversight was corrected.
Photo Stream deletion
Originally Photo Stream was an all or nothing proposition. If it was on, any photo you took, no matter how private, or a friend took, no matter how much of a prank it might be, was stuck in your Photo Stream for 30 days or 1000 photos, whichever came first. You could turn it off, or delete the entire Photo Stream, but you couldn’t delete individual photos.
Now you can. Just select the photo, tap the Action button, tap delete, and confirm.
In addition to the aforementioned fast Camera access from the Lock screen, iOS 5.1 adds a small update for the iPhone camera and something more substantial for the iPad.
Face detection (iPhone only)
While face detection itself remains the same, able to discern up to 10 individual faces, the Camera app will now highlight all of those faces, not just the most prominent. It might be more accurate, but it can also be more cluttered.
New Camera app (iPad only)
The iPad gets an entirely new Camera user interface with iOS 5.1, one that better suits the bigger screen. All the controls remain the same, if rendered differently now. In broad strokes, it makes the bar across the screen transparent, moves the Grid option to the bar, and swaps the Camera shutter button to the side, floating it over the live view.
There’s no way for a software update to fix the anemic speakers included with the iPad, but there is a way for them to address part of the problem. And with iOS 5.1, Apple does just that.
TV and movie audio (iPad only)
According to Apple, iOS 5 makes the audio for both TV shows and movies both louder and clearer.
1080p (iPad 3rd generation only)
Thanks to the incredibly dense 2048×1536 Retina display on the new iPad, the Videos app has been update to include support for playing 1080p TV shows an movies in full resolution. (iPhone 4S and iPad 2 have been able to load 1080p content, but down sampled it to fit their screens for playback.)
Apple’s new iCloud gets integrated with their old recommendation engine in the iOS 5.1 Music app. The iPad music app also gets the same podcast controls the iPhone and iPod touch have enjoyed for years.
Podcast controls (iPad only)
With iOS 5.1, the iPad gets the same podcast controls to vary playback speed between 1/2, 1x, and 2x, and to jump back at 30 second intervals to re-listen to anything you may have missed.
Genius Mixes and playlists for iTunes Match
If you subscribe to Apple’s iTunes Match music locker service, you can now use Genius Mixes and Genius playlists with your iTunes Match music.
Pricing and Availability
iOS 5.1 is was released as a free update to all supported devices on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. Although not all features are supported on all devices — or all generations of all devices — iOS 5.1 can be installed on the following:
iPhone 4S (2011)
iPhone 4 (2010 and 2011)
iPhone 3GS (2009, 2010, and 2011)
iPod touch 4 (2010 and 2011)
iPod touch 3 (2009)
iPad 2 (2011)
Should you update?
Yes, absolutely and immediately with the usual caveats. If you’re on older hardware like iPhone 3GS and you’re reading this just as iOS 5.1 becomes available, you might want to wait a couple of weeks and make sure there aren’t any reports of excessive sluggishness or other issues. Second, if you’re jailbroken and rely on certain features, and don’t want to lose your jailbreak entirely or have to reply tethered Jailbreaks, you might want to wait until a nicely packaged iOS 5.1 jailbreak for your device is released (the new iPad, iPad 2, and iPhone 4S might take a while.)
Otherwise this is a very small update that doesn’t change very much but does improve several things from iOS 5 and is definitely worth downloading and install post haste.
How to update
You can update to iOS 5.1 either via iTunes or directly on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad over-the-air (OTA). Generally speaking, OTA updates are better because a) since they only include the changes (delta/bit differential), they’re smaller and faster to download, and b) the update happens in-place, without having to backup and then restore your device.
For more on iOS, check out the iMore forums. Whether you just want to discuss features, need help with bugs or other issues, or enjoy helping out other users, it’s great to get involved with the community.
iOS 5.1 was one of the longest betas, one of the fastest releases, and one smallest, feature-wise, we’ve seen to date. What, if anything, that suggests about the iOS roadmap is really hard to say. If iOS 6 keeps to last year’s pattern, we won’t even see a beta until Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June or July. That leaves plenty of time for an iOS 5.2 if Apple chooses to develop and release one.
If not, iOS 5 itself was such a major update, the new iPad such a phenomenal piece of hardware, and new apps like iPhoto for iOS doing so much of the heavy lifting these days, Apple might just be able to get away with it.