Monday, November 18, 2019
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Was Brute Force at fault for Celebrity leaks?

The largest leak of nude celebrity photos in history took place a week ago.  This was carried out via software built to permit law enforcement to lift information from iPhones effortlessly. The program is utilized in conjunction with a tool made public recently that could crack Apple iCloud passwords.

Wired reported that hackers converse publicly on the anonymous image forum Anon-IB regarding their usage of EPPB, or Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker, to obtain information from iCloud storage backups.

EPPB and similar programs attempt to reverse engineer smartphone software to gain access to a device’s info, with the aid of iBrute, a software that guesses passwords for iCloud. The iBrute application, recently published by security research Alexey Troshichev, was made to utilize a flaw in Apple’s ‘Find My iPhone’ feature to lift users’ iCloud passwords, running variations of passwords to crack the account.

Jonathan Zdziarski, a forensics consult and security researcher, analyzed the metadata contained in the leaked photos and identified that the content originated from a downloaded backup, that is consistent with the utilization of iBrute and EPPB.

“You don’t get the same level of access by logging into someone’s [web] account as you can by emulating a phone that’s doing a restore from an iCloud backup,” said Zdziarski. “If we didn’t have this law enforcement tool, we might not have the leaks we had.”

“All that’s needed to access online backups stored in the cloud service are the original user’s credentials including Apple ID…accompanied with the corresponding password,” states EPPB on its site. “Data can be accessed without the consent of knowledge of the device owner, making Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker an ideal solution for law enforcement and intelligence organizations.”

iBrute developer Troshichev mentioned Monday that Apple had fixed the flaw within the ‘Find My iPhone’ feature. Yet Anon-IB users still discusseded applying iBrute with EPPB as of Tuesday.

“When you have third parties masquerading as hardware. it really opens up a vulnerability in terms of allowing all of these different companies to continue to interface with your system,” he stated. “Apple could take steps to close that off, and I think they should.”

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