Apple Refutes Claims That iOS Is Vulnerable To Brute Force Hacks
Apple Refutes Claims That iOS Is Vulnerable To Brute Force Hacks
A hacker figured out how to brute force iPhone passcodes
26 June, 2018, 00:07
He said: "Instead of sending passcode one at a time and waiting, send them all in one go".
A security researcher took to his Twitter account on Friday to reveal a bug on iOS devices that can allow passcodes to be bypassed through a brute force attack. However, Apple has now pushed back on these claims and the researcher also seems to have retracted partly from his initial declaration.
Like the hack works on any iPhone and iPad and all versions on the operating system iOS up to 11.4 inclusive. Normally, when a user starts entering the passcodes for unlocking the device, a part of the hardware called the secure enclave activates. "I mean: you send the real passcode in one go and it ends up unlocking". This is because each keyboard input triggers an interrupt request, preventing the iPhone to erase its information, as one passcode guess is sent in one after another. Since this doesn't give the software any breaks, the keyboard input routine takes priority over the data-erase feature. This measure would then indeed protect the phones from brute-force attacks. In this way, the attacker could send a single access request but full of billions of passwords to try to unlock any type of device. This can be done by enumerating each code from 0000 to 9999 in one string with no spaces.
That's thought to have been one of the reasons why Apple is rolling out a new feature called USB Restricted Mode in its upcoming iOS 12 update, which is said to make it far more hard for police or hackers to get access to a person's device - and their data.
Let's just say the vulnerability is real, but it would take days just to crack the iPhone using multiple passcode combinations.
That being said, Hickey has since followed up with an update in which he admits that maybe the hack would not have functioned as he had initially thought, so for now iOS users can rest assured that that particular hacking method is not possible.
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