MIT says iPhone has crossed a significant threshold in security

By , Aug 13, 2012

The iPhone hasn’t always been known for its security. In fact, when the handset first launched back in 2007, hackers could gain root access to the device through simple application exploits.

But it fixed that particular bug in early 2008, and has since then spent a lot of time and resources on beefing up its iOS security. And MIT says that the extra effort is paying off…

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (or MIT) is a private research university filled with some of the brightest minds in the world. So its opinions and reports on mobile security and other technological matters carry far more weight than the average joe. And here’s what it’s saying about iOS:

“In fact, in its efforts to make its devices more secure, Apple has crossed a significant threshold. Technologies the company has adopted protect Apple customers’ content so well that in many situations it’s impossible for law enforcement to perform forensic examinations of devices seized from criminals. Most significant is the increasing use of encryption, which is beginning to cause problems for law enforcement agencies when they encounter systems with encrypted drives.”

The report goes on to say that Apple’s security is causing so much problems for law enforcement and forensic agencies, there are literally hundreds of unprocessed civil cases because they can’t get past iOS encryption for evidence discovery. Wow.

And as much as Apple loathes the jailbreak community, you’d have to be blind not to see that iOS security is where it’s at thanks to us. Well, not us in particular, but the smart folks like pod2g, Comex, and the Dev teams that, over the years, have been able to do what others haven’t — break through Apple’s security, and push it forward.

If you’re in to the real technical stuff, you can read about what makes iOS more secure than Android and other platforms here. But the bottom line is, Apple has really stepped up its mobile security game, and it’s starting to turn heads.

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  • jose castro

    that’s funny but didn’t they say this a while ago and still to this day IOS devices can be jailbroken and inapp purchase could still be purchased for free.. ;)

    • http://twitter.com/e420kush e420Kush

      I think your missing the point. The fact is that the DEVs that compile these jailbreaks tools for us are above and beyond your average joe or Police department. And with all these jailbreaks that get released apple patches the security holes therefore making the device more secure. Look at how long it takes for a jailbreak to get released on a new device. Used to be a matter of days, now we wait months. But its worth the wait IMO.

      • http://twitter.com/IamYardvybz Daniel Hall

        i agree #realtalk

      • Ronald Weaver

        i agree with you 100%. I think as a community people who can afford to donate should. I have since Jailbreakme and will for now on.

    • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

      Apple doesn’t admit that, but they like Jailbreak because they learn so much with the JB community, even to get new ideas for features. In the other thing, it was a “server certificate bypass”. So it’s was not about the lack of iPhone security. But even that Apple has fixed in about 48 hours.

  • http://www.GoldenGateDomains.com/ Golden Gate Domains

    It does seem weird that jailbreakers can “break” the device to make jailbroken apps, but the guys and gals at MIT and the Police cannot break it for forensics reasons???

    That doesn’t “add up” for me either.

    • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

      You can’t bypass the security password with Jailbreak. If the iPhone is not locked with a security password, why forensics need to hack it?
      Just slide to unlock and voila.. there’s the data.

      • http://twitter.com/Pitchy Pitchy

        Wrong! I found an iPhone when I was on vacation in DC a few weeks ago. It had a 4 digit passcode on it. I was able to boot up a rom that ran a brute force crack on it and it gave me the passcode within 5 minutes.

        I then did the ethical thing… found out how the phone belonged to, contacted him via the email account he used for his iTunes store account and with some PayPal / FedEx magic, he will have his phone back this week.

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        What model and iOS version? Because I believe that was not the iPhone 4S / iOS 5

        Like they said, Apple has improved…obviously older models/versions are still vulnerable to some kind of hacks

      • http://twitter.com/Pitchy Pitchy

        It was an iPhone 4 running the old version of iOS 4.1. But using Gecko, I selected a specific rom without even knowing what version was on the phone. Simply following the Gecko instructions, booted the phone up, selected the rom that was recommended by Gecko and it loaded up just fine. Then did the find passcode option and it took hardly no time at all. Google Gecko iPhone Tool Kit… you should see lots of videos and forum posts about it.

      • Ronald Weaver

        Its good to know there are people like you out there.

      • http://twitter.com/tciitb TheCatIsInTheBag

        Too complicated… What happened to waiting for the owner to call?

      • http://twitter.com/Pitchy Pitchy

        They had texted numerous times prior to me finding it face down in a rain puddle in the middle of the National Mall… but the notification window just had a very limited view and I could only see the first part of the phone number. For some reason, they did not call, just sent about 30 text messages. The following day, the sim was disabled as I guess they reported it as lost or stolen, so there was no communication after that until I found his email address.

  • ghulamsameer

    They hate jailbreakers, but will certainly implement tweaks and utilities into iOS as if it’s an original idea.

  • Aleksander Azizi

    Everybody thinks the police has a super computer head quarters with super smart guys, well (atlest in norway) they only have a small team of n00b’s (compared to The Dev Team, me, etc..), Why does everybody think the police has the best computer knowledge in the world ? Cuz they do not !

  • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

    Ey cops, go eat some donuts or some shit because your not gettin’ in my shit ;P

    • No more Obama

      dork

    • http://www.facebook.com/PwnHkr Dylan Lane C. Knox

      all the thumbs down lol damm some haters huh?

  • dhex

    how do u do that?

    • dhex

      ????