APPLE HAS CONFIRMED that it's working on a fix for iOS 10 that will make encrypted back-ups less easy to crack.
Security firm Elcomsoft outed the security flaw in iOS 10's back-up protection mechanism, which it claimed is "2,500 times" easier to crack than that used in iOS 9.
"We discovered a major security flaw in the iOS 10 back-up protection mechanism. This security flaw allowed us to develop a new attack that is able to bypass certain security checks when enumerating passwords protecting local (iTunes) back-ups made by iOS 10 devices," said Elcomsoft's Oleg Afonin in a blog post.
"The impact of this security weakness is severe. An early CPU-only implementation of this attack (available in Elcomsoft Phone Breaker 6.10) gives a 40 times performance boost compared to a fully optimised GPU-assisted attack on iOS 9 back-ups."
This means that hackers who get their glove-adorned mitts on your iTunes back-ups will have a much easier time cracking the security and getting access to sensitive info like account passwords and Health app data.
"Statistics show that top 10,000 passwords are used in about 30 per cent of all cases, while the top 10 million passwords list gives an approximately 34 per cent success rate in real-world cases," added Afonin.
"Combining these lists with your own custom dictionary and letting Elcomsoft Phone Breaker 6.10 run for two days gives about an 80 to 90 per cent chance of successful recovery. You may continue crunching passwords beyond that point."
"We're aware of an issue that affects the encryption strength for back-ups of devices on iOS 10 when backing up to iTunes on the Mac or PC," an Apple spokesperson said in a statement to Fortune.
"We are addressing this issue in an upcoming security update. This does not affect iCloud backups. We recommend users ensure their Mac or PC are protected with strong passwords and can only be accessed by authorised users. Additional security is also available with FileVault whole disk encryption." µ
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