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iPhone forensics seminar to expose security holes?

The iPhone Forensics Workshop in Chicago--provides expert training for investigators--shows just how unsafe your iPhone or iPod Touch is in protecting personal data.

David Martin
David Martin has more than 20 years of experience in the industry as a programmer, systems and business analyst, author, and consultant.
David Martin
2 min read

For years, published examples of security breaches at banks, credit card companies, and on home PCs have put us all on guard for identity theft. Would you be surprised to find out that, despite all this bad news, the iPhone and the iPod Touch are not as secure as they should be? It's true: neither of these devices does what it should to protect your personal information, and the upcoming O'Reilly Forensics Workshop--a meeting that highlights various ways to get data out of either of these popular Apple devices--proves it.

Taking place in Chicago on May 26, 2009 and May 27, 2009 (registration link), the conference will teach methods for recovering evidence, personal data, and corporate assets from the iPhone. Jonathan Zdziarski, author of the books iPhone Open Application Development, iPhone SDK, and an iPhone Forensics manual, will be the speaker.

Geared toward security experts and law enforcement officials interested in recovering information from the iPhone, the two-day workshop will give these individuals hands-on experience recovering and processing evidence via forensic examination of both an iPhone and an iPhone 3G. Attendees will receive a special binder edition of iPhone Forensics, a USB keychain containing tools used and an electronic copy of the book. (For the privileged, you'll need to pony up $3,500, or $2,500 for vetted law enforcement professionals and government employees.

Students will learn what kinds of evidence the devices store, what to do to prepare your environment for a forensics investigation, how to break into v1.x and v2.x passcode-protected iPhones, assembly of a custom recovery toolkit for the iPhone, and how to effectively interrupt the iPhone 3G's "secure wipe" process. Students will conduct data recovery of a v1.x and v2.x iPhone user disk partition and preserve and recover the entire raw user disk partition, recovery of voice mail, images, and e-mail.

It's clear that this workshop will disseminate information that will make the iPhone and iPod Touch less secure. Apple is trying to keep the device safe--some previous iPhone OS updates tackle security issues--but the company must still have a long way to go if O'Reilly has enough fodder for this workshop. Worried? Send an e-mail to Apple demanding solutions that prevent the dissemination of personal information from a lost iPhone or iPod Touch.

In the meantime, folks, keeping your iPhone or iPod Touch physically safe and secure is your best hope.