iPhone Encryption System Cracked By Russian Firm

Elcomsoft, a Russian software firm has announced they have managed to crack the encryption on an iOS 4 iPhone.

The company has been able to decrypt an image of the iOS 4 data, and added that the procedure can be carried out only if they have the device since encryption keys are stored in the hardware.

Apple currently uses the Advanced Encryption Standard which has a 256-bit key. Due to the key length, even law-enforcement agencies are having a hard time cracking it and the fastest computer would need billions of years to do it using all key combinations.

Some of the information from an iPhone could be backed up on a PC via iTunes but only for earlier iOS versions. iOS 4 solved the issue by storing user data hardware-based encryption on iDevices and encrypting them with a unique key, Vladimir Katalov, CEO of Elcomsoft stated.

"This time around it's not about iPhone backups. [They]...already contain a lot of data, but not quite everything that's being stored or cached in iPhone devices. [...] we were able to break into the heart of iPhone data encryption, providing our customers with full access to all information stored in iPhone devices running iOS 4", Katalov said.

The Russian company has also informed that they will sell the iOS 4 encryption cracking method to law enforcement or government agencies only.