Hardware hack defeats iPhone passcode security

September 19th, 2016 by Mark Daly in Industry News No Comments »
Hardware hack defeats iPhone passcode security ilicomm Technology Solutions

iPhone passcodes can be bypassed using just £75 ($100) of electronic components, research suggests.

A Cambridge computer scientist cloned iPhone memory chips, allowing him an unlimited number of attempts to guess a passcode.

The work contradicts a claim made by the FBI earlier this year that this approach would not work.

The FBI made the claim as it sought access to San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone.

Cheap trick

Farook and his wife killed 14 people in the California city last December before police fatally shot them.

The FBI believed his iPhone 5C contained information about collaborators, but its security system prevented easy access.

The agency pressured Apple to give it a software backdoor into the phone, and, when it refused, reportedly paid $1m to a security company to retrieve data from the phone.

Now, Dr Sergei Skorobogatov, from the University of Cambridge computer laboratory, has spent four months building a testing rig to bypass iPhone 5C pin codes.

In a YouTube video, Dr Skorobogatov showed how he had removed a Nand chip from an iPhone 5C – the main memory storage system used on many Apple devices.

Copyright: BBC Technology

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