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Apple Can Extract Texts, Photos, Contacts From Locked iPhones 202

Posted by timothy
from the as-a-public-service dept.
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "If law enforcement gets hold of your locked iPhone and has some interest in its contents, Apple can pull all kinds of content from the device, including texts, contacts, photos and videos, call history and audio recordings. The company said in a new document that provides guidance for law enforcement agencies on the kinds of information Apple can provide and what methods can be used to obtain it that if served with a search warrant, officials will help law enforcement agents extract specific application-specific data from a locked iOS device. However, that data appears to be limited to information related to Apple apps, such as iMessage, the contacts and the camera. Email contents and calendar data can't be extracted, the company said in the guidelines."
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Apple Can Extract Texts, Photos, Contacts From Locked iPhones

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  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @12:30PM (#46950407)

    If you read Apple's document [apple.com], they make it pretty clear in Section I that they're talking about extracting data from an iOS 4 or later iOS device that is passcode locked and in good working order. Besides which, not all of that data goes through iCloud (e.g. call history, audio recordings (unless you're backing them up), etc.).

    Moreover, they've detailed the security of their iCloud offerings before, and what I noticed immediately is that while SMS texts can be extracted according to this document, iMessages are not listed, suggesting this isn't just an iCloud backdoor. Likewise, if they were able to access your iCloud stuff, they'd have access to a whole lot more, such as calendar events, e-mails, and any third-party data you had backed up using iCloud Backup.

  • by NemoinSpace (1118137) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @12:50PM (#46950599) Homepage Journal
    Sorry, I was too brief. Apple doesn't include a file manager because thy want to try to control the experience. (Bad enough). MS doesn't include a file manager because they can't do it without totally destroying security on the device. At least that is their official story. I think the real answer is much worse.
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @01:00PM (#46950715) Journal

    How about google, hotmail, facebook etc passwords from Safari's settings? Thats what law enforcement always look for. That is cop gold right there.

    No, that is prosecutor cyanide. Cops do not generally log in with the user's credentials, because it poisons the evidence gained from that site. Any competent defense attorney could get the subsequent evidence found that way thrown out almost immediately ("So, officer, you logged in as the user and acted on his behalf in the website? How do we know that you and your cohorts didn't plant the evidence yourself? Tainted evidence, yerhonor!")

    Easier to get a warrant, have the provider give you the data. That way you can have a valid chain of custody, proof that there was no impersonation by cops or prosecutor, and absolutely no chance of any claims being valid that questions the veracity and integrity of the evidence found. Hell, even in those few cases where a user/pass is used, both prosecution and defense attorneys are present during its use (and depending on locate, a clerk of the court) - the defense (and clerk) are there to keep 'em honest.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @01:15PM (#46950887)

    Wouldn't law enforcement just require the account usernames and then get the data from the respective service providers with a warrant? Sounds a bit unprofessional that they would go logging in to the accounts by themselves.

    You've never been in court have you?

    The primary legal argument in most cases in this country are: "Well we're the police we can do that. Constitution? Sure you could appeal this but the fines $500, you're legal fees on appeal would be at least $5000... tell you what, pay the fine and we expunge the charges in 6 months!"

    Yes, this has happened to me. I even got a ticket once for "unlawful use of horn" when I honked at a guy that almost hit me. But he was the cops uncle (cop told me this) he then proceeded to tell me "Sure this would get thrown out of court, but I get paid to go to court. You don't. I can give you a ticket every day you drive through here. How long would you keep your job? Now how about you stop being a jerk and honking at old people?" I called the police station later and spoke with the guys boss who laughed at me and said his officer told him "Some jerk will be calling you..."

    The police only follow proper procedure and what-not when they think the case is big enough that it'll mater... i.e. you're going to jail and they know you'll fight tooth and nail. Otherwise they just search illegally, bully and batter people, contaminate evidence (if they even bother to collect any) and then slap a fine on you. If the fines aren't over a couple of thousand and there's no jail involved, its almost always in your financial best interest to just roll over and take it. In the few cases where the person doesn't? They don't care, 100 other people got arrested on the same day.

  • by DanSSJ4 (1693476) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @01:19PM (#46950931)

    I just did this on a locked iPhone i Found Yesterday to try to identify the owner.

    It was locked from too many bad PIN's entered and I was able to access Photos, Call Log, TXT Messages, etc.

    Didn't give me access to every single thing on the phone, but that is still a lot considering this is a shareware limited app anyone can download.

    There are more advanced Forensic programs that are available, but they can get more pricey.

    But if anyone with google can find a shareware app, what hope to you have against the government with all their money and resources.

    http://www.easeus.com/mobile-t... [easeus.com]

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