223 votes

Why can't the FBI read the key embedded in the iPhone's secure chip/ROM directly from hardware (silicon)?

Yes, it is possible. However, that runs the risk of destroying the device without getting the data off first, which is undesirable. It also does not achieve the political goals of forcing Apple to ...
Xander's user avatar
  • 35.8k
102 votes
Accepted

Should I be concerned about strange, new iPhone app appearing after repair?

Unless you can come up with some other explanation of how this happend, it sounds like your phone has been infected by some malware. It's impossible for us to say if the infection was the result of ...
Anders's user avatar
  • 65.6k
94 votes

Why can't the FBI read the key embedded in the iPhone's secure chip/ROM directly from hardware (silicon)?

What makes you think that they haven't already? This case is about setting a precedent to obtain access whenever the government desires. They chose this case because America's fear of terrorism will ...
erickson's user avatar
  • 1,772
89 votes
Accepted

Can phone apps read my clipboard?

Android Prior to Android 10 any app could freely register listeners to receive the clipboard contents whenever they changed. As of Android 10, only the current app with focus and any app set as the ...
pri's user avatar
  • 4,456
81 votes
Accepted

Why is iPhone's internal storage so hard to crack/decrypt?

I don't think that you interpret the rule you've heard in the right way. If an attacker has physical access to an encrypted but switched off device he cannot simply break the encryption provided that ...
Steffen Ullrich's user avatar
78 votes

Why can't the FBI read the key embedded in the iPhone's secure chip/ROM directly from hardware (silicon)?

It doesn't scale While the general consensus is that such technology exists and would be available to FBI, it's not an appropriate general solution because it might be applicable to this case but (...
Peteris's user avatar
  • 8,419
71 votes
Accepted

How to securely dispose of a smartphone?

Unless you have secrets on that phone that someone would pay a lot of money to uncover, you don't need to go overboard. A factory reset would work just fine. To decrease the chances someone would ...
ThoriumBR's user avatar
  • 54k
65 votes

"This used to be my phone number"

It's a known scam attempt. The caller probably compromised one of your accounts, and got stopped by the 2FA token sent to your phone. If you send them the token, your account is fully compromised. Or, ...
ThoriumBR's user avatar
  • 54k
64 votes
Accepted

Is there any hope of getting my pictures back after an iPhone factory reset some day in the future?

Modern encryption is strong enough that there is no way to retrieve the lost data without the key. Although it's possible that it could be doable in the future in theory, consider that even the cipher ...
forest's user avatar
  • 66.7k
49 votes

How to securely dispose of a smartphone?

Under the assumption that you have a somewhat recent phone (Android 6+ installed from factory, I don't know for Apple but read something about from iPhone 6 on): Wipe the phone/do a factory reset (...
Josef's user avatar
  • 5,973
45 votes
Accepted

Why do web sites show my iPhone using different IP addresses for HTTP and HTTPS (cellular only)?

I am just going to take a guess here. Your telephone data carrier may have an optimizing or caching proxy for content whose IP address appears in your JSON result. As the proxy has no visibility ...
Akber Choudhry's user avatar
41 votes
Accepted

Why does an iphone require me to enter the passcode and not accept my fingerprints when I switch it on after power off?

Since iOS 8, full disk encryption is enabled by default and the passcode is used as key (paired with some secret kept in the phone's HSM so offline bruteforcing is not possible, making it relatively ...
André Borie's user avatar
  • 12.8k
31 votes

Is there any hope of getting my pictures back after an iPhone factory reset some day in the future?

Every time I updated my iPhone with iTunes, iTunes automatically made a backup of the iPhone. These backups can be checked in: iTunes >> Edit Menu >> Preference >> Devices >> ...
Henk Groot's user avatar
30 votes

Should I be concerned about strange, new iPhone app appearing after repair?

I would be very concerned. One thing I have learnt about security, in all the years I have been trying to understand it, is that if you didn't put something there, somebody else did, and if you don't ...
The-Baddy's user avatar
  • 409
28 votes
Accepted

How did FBI/DoJ retrieve the data stored on the encrypted iPhone?

[Update #2] According to the Washington Post, sources familiar with the matter, have stated that the initially suspected collaboration with Cellebrite is not how the data from the encrypted iPhone ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 735
25 votes

Why is iPhone's internal storage so hard to crack/decrypt?

The rule you are referring to goes back to Scott Culp and is from this essay he wrote in 2000: https://technet.microsoft.com/library/cc722487.aspx In 2000, there was no such thing as an iPhone. ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 10.4k
22 votes

Why does an iphone require me to enter the passcode and not accept my fingerprints when I switch it on after power off?

@AndréBorie gives the correct technical reason why a passcode is required for full disk encryption. I want to dispel the myth that fingerprint is more secure than passcode. This is a dangerous - yet ...
Mike Ounsworth's user avatar
22 votes

Should I be concerned about strange, new iPhone app appearing after repair?

Yes, and be concerned about more than your phone. I can’t imagine a situation where an app was installed without your pin/password. without them first jail-breaking or otherwise significantly ...
Nath's user avatar
  • 401
20 votes

Why can't the FBI read the key embedded in the iPhone's secure chip/ROM directly from hardware (silicon)?

You are assuming the problem is technical. It might be political / legal. Let's assume the government already has the technical capability of extracting this information from phones, without Apple ...
Otheus's user avatar
  • 687
16 votes

How to securely dispose of a smartphone?

Under the assumption you do not trade state secrets I would: Wipe the phone/do a factory reset (assuming the phone is still working) Remove the SD Card (keep it for later use) (does not apply to the ...
Marcel's user avatar
  • 4,094
11 votes

Is it possible for someone to see under the "blacked out" part of this image (see below)?

PNG is a bitmap format, thus "blackening out" is a destructive method: what was in the original picture before it was replaced by black pixels is no more in the blackened picture. You can use any ...
A. Hersean's user avatar
  • 10.6k
11 votes
Accepted

Did I stumble upon a cell hidden network or is my device being attacked?

I strongly suspect those four characters are an "A", a "T", an "&" (the Sun symbol) and a "T" again. Possibly the UTF8 for 4F10, 5418, E298BC and 5418. Actually, as @Matt observed, the little-...
LSerni's user avatar
  • 22.8k
11 votes

Should I be concerned about strange, new iPhone app appearing after repair?

The most concerning point is that the repair shop employee claims not to know anything about it. The app may or may not be okay. If someone in the repair shop installs a new app, i.e. for testing if ...
allo's user avatar
  • 3,372
10 votes
Accepted

Found my iPhone 6 somewhat open (possibly right after airport security), what (if anything) might have been done to it?

I thought about deleting the question, but leaving an answer in this case might serve as a good example. In a comment above it was pointed out that a failing iPhone battery can sometimes swell and ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 1,415
10 votes

Should I be concerned about strange, new iPhone app appearing after repair?

when the guy in store suggested to just delete it I did it without thinking. Here's the link to icon I found that looks the same, I suppose it's UC Browser. As I mentioned, everything was in Chinese, ...
CPHPython's user avatar
  • 321
10 votes

How to securely dispose of a smartphone?

"Impossible to restore" can only be securely achieved by physically destroying chips. Which one, depends on the device and an optional encryption. (By that I mean, if the flash storage on the device ...
Martin Fürholz's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

What is "NAND mirroring", the alleged technique that the FBI will use to crack the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone?

Basically NAND mirroring means that they're opening the phone up, de-soldering the memory chip, copying it off (the "mirroring" bit) and then they either solder it back into the phone, or more likely ...
Xander's user avatar
  • 35.8k
9 votes

Is it realistic for a script kiddie to remotely hack into a jailbroken iPhone?

A key point of definition of 'script kiddie' is that they can run scripts but don't necessarily understand how or why the scripts work. So yes, absolutely. If you have a vulnerability on your phone, ...
Rory Alsop's user avatar
  • 61.5k
8 votes

Is it possible for someone to see under the "blacked out" part of this image (see below)?

There are ways, but possibly not in your example case (blackeneing at end of line). If you blacken a word or short phrase (e.g., a name) in the middle of a paragraph of justified text in a ...
Hagen von Eitzen's user avatar

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