New Forensics Tool Can Slurp A Phone's Data Via The Cloud

The police don't even need to touch your phone anymore to know how you've been using it. A new off-the-shelf forensics tool lets cops retrieve all the data they want from your iPhone by accessing its contents through iCloud.

The software, developed by ElcomSoft, lets investigators retrieve user data associated with iPhones from Apple's iCloud online backup service, reports The Register. There's a thorough description of how the technology works on ElcomSoft's website, but from The Register:

"iCloud backups offer a near real-time copy of information stored on iPhones including emails, call logs, text messages and website visits. iCloud backups are incremental. When set up to use the iCloud service, iPhones automatically connect to iCloud network and backup their content every time a docked device gets within reach of a Wi-Fi access point.

"'While other methods require the presence of the actual iPhone device being analysed or at least an access to device backups this is not the case with iCloud,' ElcomSoft chief exec Vladimir Katalov explained. 'With a valid Apple ID and a password, investigators can not only retrieve backups to seized devices, but access that information in real-time while the phone is still in the hands of a suspect.'"

Of course, the solution does require access to the Apple ID and password of the person who's being snooped on, and that might not be easy to obtain. But once those details are in place the data can be swiftly downloaded, unencrypted. Nice. [ElcomSoft via The Register]

Image: Thoma Pajot/Shutterstock


Comments

    Well first off,
    This would only work if you have enabled the iCloud backup features,

    2nd of all the solution does require access to the Apple ID and password of the person who’s being snooped on, and that might not be easy to obtain

    If police change or get your password without your permission they are breaking the law, they need warrants for that,

    I believe this "new" software is something called the Internet, or iCloud.com geese WTG cops, you're really up with the latest tech aren't ya?! NOT!!!

    The is why Mac don't need viruses. Police do all the data nabbing for you.

    Exactly, it does not change the requirement for a warrant served on the owner of the icloud account first. I would have thought they would go for the phone first over trying to force a password out of you or force Apple to unlock the account for a criminal investigation... A phone that is not password protected could probably be accidentally looked at by police whereas an icloud account would be harder to access without proper, lengthy, legal procedures. This is just a silly article with no merit at all. If you actually knew how weighted the law is in the criminals favor and how difficult it is for police to get a conviction. Police would never risk something that could be seen as obtaining evidence though illegal means to cause them to lose the case.

    BIG DEAL. how is this different to anything else? if they get your netbank password, they can access your bank accounts. If they get your email password they can access your email. If someone gets a copy of your house keys, they can get into your house.

    If you want privacy and security, have a good password and dont be a criminal. Otherwise - move to the forrest and live with the faries.

    Don't forget that since iCloud is US hosted then the US Government can quite legally access it without a warrant. It's just Australian Police who aren't allowed to access it without getting a warrant.

      So Australian police make requests to American police to access your cloud info - too easy!!

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