MIT Says That The Apple iPhone Is Very Locked Down

Posted Aug 13, 2012

Apple iOS security is very locked down.  According to a recent report from MIT’s Technology Review, Apple’s iOS security measures have “crossed a significant threshold.”  iOS said that it is hard for law enforcement agencies to hack into the iPhone that has been taken from a criminal.  This is good for consumers and bad for law enforcement agencies.

?I can tell you from the Department of Justice perspective, if that drive is encrypted, you?re done,? stated Ovie Carroll, the Department of Justice?s director of the cyber-crime lab at the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the agency. ?When conducting criminal investigations, if you pull the power on a drive that is whole-disk encrypted you have lost any chance of recovering that data.?

This is a major shift from when the iPhone was originally released in 2007.  Back then every single application had root access to the phone’s operating system.  Hackers were able to infiltrate the phone and control it without the user having control, but the company fixed that in 2008 by “sandboxing” each app.

?Apple?s security architecture is so sturdy, and so tightly woven into its hardware and software, that it is both easy for consumers to use encryption on their phones and very difficult for someone else to steal the encrypted information,? said MIT’s Technology Review.  Apple uses an Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) key in the operating system that becomes even more protected when users opt to set up a PIN password lock option.