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Monday, February 6, 2012

Probing Your iPhone for Evidence of Criminal Activity

From CellDEK - A tool to analyze SIM cards.
I stumbled on to a variety of interesting "law enforcement" and other "forensic" web sites in searching for iPhone technology and apps.

The first one is this.  Basically this site describes various tools for accessing data in an iPhone forensically, i.e., for finding things like phone numbers, emails, texts and so on.

Some of the tools are designed to work on an iPhone captured at the scene of a crime, i.e., basically to be on someone's pocket or in their police cruiser and to instantly dump out personal information.  One example is MacLockPick II - a $499.00 USD cross-platform tool to access private information on site from a Mac or PC.  Among its features are "Apple Keychain Extractor" which recovers all your passwords.  It also allows most phone details, i.e., GPS history, phone call/texting history plus various cellphone data, email, notes, etc. to be extracted from your phone.

Others are more general and work "back at the office."

At the end of the day there is little on your iPhone that's private in any real sense of the word.

One interesting point which I never see discussed is what about copywritten information on your phone.  Can law enforcement simply take it?  Obviously music and videos but also, what about, say, work files of some sort, e.g., presentations and such.

There are various other tools available at the "iPhone Forensics" link as well to extract just about anything from an iPhone.

(Android users have no fear - most of this seems to be available in an "Android" version as well.)

It seems clear from my "Mega Oh Oh" series of posts that "law enforcement" cares little about your private information - even if it has a copyright associated with it (basically to them its simply trash and a by-product of your "criminality" - even if you are simply "stopped" and not "convicted").

How interesting.

I wonder what "rights" you might have to this information or can law enforcement simply "take" it?

There are also a number of "police" apps, for example at this site.

Many of these apps are simpler than those above (with a cost of $0.99 USD for example) and seem to be associated with making sure that the police can see (using the "flashlight" mode of the phone) while they are asking you (via scripting) about something: DUI field sobriety tests, rights, etc.  Others offer, for example, images of virtually every care made in the last decade.

There is also this site as it relates to counter-efforts (in this case by hackers) to thwart police tactics such as those above.

The chief application listed in this vein is "Cop Recorder."

Basically an audio recording app.  BTW, there is a free audio recorder included as part of your iPhone at least since iOS 4.0.  Though use of an app like this is not without peril...  (It is perfectly legal to record someone, like a police officer, on a public street.)

There are also sites dedicated to other sorts of forensics as they relate to iPhones - and a related blog.

To me this really seems like its becoming a "chess game" of sorts - various hacker types of both sides of the law working at gaining an edge over the other.  The problem, however, is that no one is really standing up for the iPhone user.

Since iOS is a closed system there is no way, save for jailbreaking and even then I think its doubtful, to add a layer of user-based security to your iPhone.

(For example on Windows and Macs you can have encrypted files systems.  However, even those can be penetrated by law enforcement with a court order - see "Give Up Your Password - A Fifth Amendment Issue?".)

I guess the only truly private information you can have is in your head.  But fear not because I am sure that the latest medical efforts to "understand" a brain will pave the way for law enforcement to access it.

For example, today they have various scanners that show the active areas in a brain when, for example, lying versus telling the truth.

What's to stop law enforcement from getting a court order to put you in a scanner for a "lie detector" test?

I think that all this technology is running far ahead of people's privacy and its probably not a good thing...

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