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Iphone Security Ubuntu Apple Linux

iPhone's PIN-Based Security Transparent To Ubuntu 264

ndogg writes "Security experts found that the iPhone 3GS has very little security, even with a PIN set up. They plugged one into Ubuntu 10.04, and it was automounted with almost all of the iPhone's data exposed. This has been reported to Apple, but the company seems to be having difficulty reproducing the problem."
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iPhone's PIN-Based Security Transparent To Ubuntu

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  • by kthreadd ( 1558445 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @03:21PM (#32366626)
    So the problem is that the memory of the iPhone is mounted and that the data is exposed? I may not understand this exactly but hasn't the argument been for many years now that iPods couldn't be directly mounted like that?
  • And? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lennier1 ( 264730 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @03:31PM (#32366830)

    Will their fix consist of actually making the device more secure or will they just try to make it harder use it with Linux systems?

  • by Steve Max ( 1235710 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @03:37PM (#32366938) Journal

    The GSM standard defines a PIN as an access number for your SIM card. It has nothing to do with your phone's contents. Most phones allow you to set up a security key, which is needed either to turn on the phone every time (even if you have your SIM set up not to need a PIN), or when you change the SIM.

    I don't know if this is actually the same PIN defined by the GSM standard or if it's another, Apple-specific key; but when you're talking about phones, PIN is connected to the SIM, or to the phone line, not to the phone contents.

  • No shit, Sherlock (Score:1, Insightful)

    by whterbt ( 211035 ) <> on Thursday May 27, 2010 @03:38PM (#32366954)

    Seriously, people are shocked by this? Did anyone actually think entering a PIN was encrypting the device? Who told you that it would?

    This was a feature intended to keep your jerkwad friends from picking up your phone and prank-texting your boss or girlfriend. Nothing more.

    Helpful hint to all those who were fooled by this: those "fingerprint scanner" apps in the App Store aren't real, either.

  • by Steve Max ( 1235710 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @04:28PM (#32367738) Journal

    So, they're not talking about the PIN in the meaning you expect when discussing phones, but about a security code that has no connection with the GSM PIN. Or, in other words, you don't have to use that key when you put your iPhone's SIM in another phone.

    Why can't people keep consistency? Calling a security code "PIN" when discussing cell phones is like calling a DVD "hard disc". It's not technically wrong (it's a "personal identification number", or a hard, disc-shaped object), but the word has a completely different usual meaning when used in context.

  • Re:Who says... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @05:06PM (#32368316)

    Wah wah wah, we hurt the poor widdle mac loser's feelings? Too bad.
    Get the fuck off my internet and don't come back until you're smart enough to use a REAL computer.
    Anyone stupid enough to buy a Mac deserves endless teasing and harassment from his superiors.

    Translation: "Aww shit, my Apple stereotype hasn't been applicable for years and now I look stupid! Well hopefully the phrase 'real computer' is ambiguous enough to imply that I have a computer that does something the Mac doesn't and nobody'll challenge me on it!"

  • Old news ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @05:34PM (#32368736)

    Yes, you can get the raw data off without a PIN.

    The original phones up until the 3Gs didn't encryption the data.

    The 3GS and presumable 4.0 phones encrypted the data using a key that isnt (in theory) directly accessable to anyone outside the phone os and more specifically hardware.

    So yes, there have been many ways to get data off 2g and 3g devices. 3Gs and 4.0 devices work in a different way so short of ripping apart a chip to get the key, the best you'll get is an encrypted memory dump which is more or less worthless unless you can get the key out of the hardware.

    On older phones with newer OSes a remove wipe destroys the key. Updated versions of the software first destroy the key, then proceed to overwrite the encrypted data itself to make it useless even if you obtained the key somewhere else.

    Basically, Apple realized this was studip 2 revisions of the hardware back and has such fixed the issue.

    When you unlock the phone, you effectively add the key to the file system keystore so it can decrypt the files.

    if you unlock your phone, you have ... unlocked your phone. Whats the difficulty in understanding this?

  • Re:Wow. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jargoone ( 166102 ) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @06:19PM (#32369246)

    And only one of them has the strength to lift a chair, let alone throw it.

  • Re:Wow. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 27, 2010 @07:48PM (#32370238)
    Insightful? Mods... really?
  • by SharpFang ( 651121 ) on Friday May 28, 2010 @07:34AM (#32374018) Homepage Journal

    You can't blame Apple for Ubuntu mis-implementing the API and skipping a step described as mandatory.

    From Iphone3G API documentation...

    7.4 Mounting the phone filesystem over USB

    User authentication must be assured to mount encrypted filesystem. A call to validatePIN() method is a mandatory step before attempting to acquire the system key and mounting the filesystem. A typical scenario of mounting the filesystem goes like this:

    IphoneSecurity& sec = Iphone::Security();
    IphoneSecurity::EncKey key = NULL;
    IphoneIO::Partition mp = NULL;

    if(sec.validatePIN() == true)
          key = sec.getEncKey();
          mp = sec.mount(device,mountpoint,options,key);
    { //error handling

    it's a spoof, dummies

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger