Mevlut Mert Altıntasan

Andrei Karlov, the ambassador to Turkey, was killed while giving a speech at an art gallery in Ankara three days ago by 22-year-old off-duty police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas. According to MacReports, Turkish police approached Apple about unlocking an iPhone 4s that was recovered from the shooter.

The device is locked with a 4-digit passcode, but it’s unclear if it runs iOS 8.0+ or one of the earlier iOS editions that don’t enforce full disk encryption.

A senior Turkish official told MacReports that Russia will send a special technical team to Turkey to help unlock the killer’s device. Apple is very unlikely to help Turkish officials unlock Altintas’ phone given the firm’s tough stance on security and knowing it refused to help the FBI unlock a San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.

Karlov’s killer showed his police ID to bypass the security checks, pretending that he was his official bodyguard. He was gunned down by Turkish special forces.

Assuming his iPhone 4s ran a pre-iOS 8 version, getting into the phone should be rather trivial using a special device that performs brute-force attacks on the passcode. With just 10,000 possible combinations, 4-digit passcode are very easy to crack.

That’s why those who are concerned about security should switch to 6-digit passcodes that boost the number of possible combinations to more than a million.

iOS 8, 9 and 10 protect everything on the device with encryption keys derived from a user’s passcode and some salt. iOS can also wipe the device clean after ten unsuccessful passcode attempts, but that feature must be manually enabled in Settings.

On the other hand, iPhone 4s runs the Apple-designed A5 processor that lacks an embedded Secure Enclave crypto-engine which strengthens overall security while imposing hardware-based delays on passcode attempts and other advanced features.

Source: MacReports

  • Newgunnerr

    I hope they won’t be able to do it. Apple Security for the win!

    • JustAnotherDude

      It is better for everyone if they can do it. What we want is for it to be hard enough to get into phones that they can’t do it willy-nilly, and certainly can’t do it remotely. But we do want them to be able to spend some medium to large amount of effort and get into a phone.

      That way, they’re unlikely to try to legislate back doors. And they won’t hack a phone for a minor offense. Having it be “hard but possible” is really the only way that the rest of us stay secure long-term.

      • Mike Chu

        No. This is very wrong and very bad for security, because if it’s possible to get into a device at all hackers will try to exploit that vulnerability

      • Victor J. Lockwood

        This is a vary terrible way of thinking! it dosnt matter how hard it is to crack, if there is a possibility to do so then everyone and there brother will exploit it.
        This is the Pandora’s box that Apple refused to open with the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. and i’m glad they didn’t give in…..

    • AMB_07

      They most definitely will be able to crack it. The FBI asked for an Israeli team to crack an iPhone 5C, I think a 4S here will be no trouble.

  • Sailor_V90

    Wasn’t there already talk of World War III? I hope this isn’t the spark that ignites the fuel….

    • Bill

      Putin has stated that this will not interfere with Russian/Turkish relations. He knows it is an attempt to sabotage those relations and luckily he’s not taking the bait. It will be a rocky road for sure going forward, but the globalists aren’t going to win. We dodged a bullet ourselves, electing Trump. He has no intention of fighting with Russia, unlike some other people who do.

      • nova12
      • Diego Milano


      • Rowan09

        He’s right, we are going to have a nuclear war some time sooner than later.

      • Bugs Bunnay

        lmao you left out the part where china is the one starting it.

      • nova12

        what? what are you talking about? china’s nukes had nothing to do with trump’s tweet. his staff even keeps trying to walk it back, and DJT responds with “let it be an arms race,” and “we’ll outlast them.” no mention — not even obliquely — of China.

        btw, china has now weighed in. look at them egging it on.

      • Bugs Bunnay

        although I admire that you get update on the situation, the dailymail wrote an article on china’s nuke call on dec, 8. this youtube video shows you everything you need to know: watch?v=sm5vi6cVMz4 (manually copy and paste). source of information included in the video. tell me what you think about it.

      • nova12

        dude. come on. Alex Jones????? haha nevermind.

      • Bugs Bunnay

        yes sir. been on for 20 years and proven right even today. classified documents later leaked and then went public, high level people coming out and still not enough proof? it’s your choice to have a closed mindset like every other “sheeps” out there or to take it in and face reality.
        you also didn’t give me your reply about the dailymail’s china article.

      • nova12

        I don’t argue with people who take InfoWars with even the remotest level of seriousness.

        The guy said Newtown was a false flag, for god’s sake. And that Obama and Clinton “smell like sulphur” because they are honest-to-god demons. Among about 1,000,000 other ridiculous, offensive, and (literally) mentally unbalanced things.

        So anyone who says something about Jones like “he’s been proven right about X and you’re just a sheep if you don’t believe him” isn’t someone I have any interest in debating about anything.

        Have a great new year.

      • Bugs Bunnay

        you can actually disregard infowars altogether even though you can’t deny evidence put into the video assuming you even watched it. we don’t have to argue. i’d still like to see what you think about the dailymail’s article. a little extra research wouldn’t hurt. break through the lies of mainstream misinformation. so again, who actually called to increase nukes first?

      • Bill

        If you think we are going to war with Russia, you’re reading fake news. US/Russia will align forces to rid the world of radical Islamic terrorists.

      • nova12

        who said we’re going to war with Russia?

      • Diego Milano

        If this is true, it’s already bad that some are plotting to try to make it happen. But that’s now news in such a shitty world we get to live in; better let it go and move on.

    • Diego Milano

      I wrote a similar comment as a joke and deleted it because I was confused and thought it was the Turkish ambassador instead. Reading comprehension FAIL.

  • iNeedANameHere

    The iPhone 4S’s A5 does not have a secure enclave. The enclave was introduced with the A7 in iPhone 5S for Touch ID and other features.

    • Brahmy

      Yup. That’s true.

  • Joey_Z

    I think Apple will be willing to give the icloud backup if they ask. It includes a lot of information like reminder, notepad, imessage, contacts…

    • Diego Milano

      “Hey Siri: remind myself to kill the Russian ambassador tomorrow morning,” I don’t think so.

  • panzgarcia

    I think it’s disturbing that you included a photo of a dead body with this article. I know you’re not the only media outlet to do it but it’s not what I expect to see on a tech blog. People are becoming desensitized to seeing stuff like this, it’s very worrying.

    • Diego Milano

      Thanks, that’s exactly the first thing I noticed even before I tapped on the article. I think iDB should remove this, for different reasons, starting with the fact I think it’s offensive.

    • Totally agreed. I have changed the image at the top.

    • Mark S

      Becoming? That ended years ago. Americans are desensitized to everything these days.

  • wheresmykush

    I think a good way is to check out some CCTV footages, hope if any one of those captures the man typing his password, or even just to know which version it is running on.

  • Mark S

    Doesn’t pay to be a russian ambassador I guess: no security detail to protect you, and so little pay you use a 5 year old iphone.

  • :D

    Apple won’t help but I do actually hope they can still tap into the phone. Getting ahold of messages and contacts on that phone could be key to preventing other planned attacks. I really hate that people are so obsessed over their phone privacy that they lose sight of the importance of personal security.

    • Rowan09

      Don’t be fooled into believing the governing officials care. People that don’t care about privacy don’t care about the country. We need privacy it’s our God given right.

  • john snow

    Apple’s 5 yo SoC more secure than today androids Socs

  • Sohail Wahab

    4 digit passwords are very easy to crack. If you are intending to kill someone. Please switch to a newer version of iOS or a new iPhone model.


  • (JailbreakQA) King Shoot

    Can’t they just use the brute-force hardware method demonstrated a few weeks ago? It shouldn’t cost more than 30$ for all the parts lol.