MIT’s Technology Review has reported that the way in which data is now secured on the iPhone and iPad has reached a point at which law enforcement agencies are no longer able to conduct forensic examinations of the devices when they are seized from criminals.
Soon after the iPhone’s first iteration was released major security flaws were found to be. Apple has since invested heavily in mobile security, adopting a system called Advanced Encryption Standard which has made it all but impossible for data to be extracted from its devices. RIM uses the same technology in its BlackBerry devices, which have been a byword for mobile security for many years.
Now though, the only way in which government agencies are able to gain access to anything stored on an Apple device is to use what is called a ‘brute force’ attack, loading special software on to the ph0ne or tablet which will attempt to guess the pass code of the device by trying every possible permutation
iPhones protected with the basic, four digit code can be unlocked in around 13 minutes but this time increases as more digits are used. At the extreme of the spectrum, a device protected with a 10 digit passcode would take 25 years to unlock.