Your iOS 12 iPhone is still safe: Don’t believe the hype

Chris Burns - Nov 30, 2018, 1:45 pm CST
Your iOS 12 iPhone is still safe: Don’t believe the hype

If you’re worrying about headlines that suggest iPhones and iPad have a ‘serious problem’ with security, don’t believe the hype. The hype is based in truth, but the truth is that just one single company suggests they’ve broken in to an iPhone running iOS 12. I’m generally one to relay issues to smartphone users of all sorts – if a major issue is out there, I won’t hesitate to report it. This is not one of those times – this is more of an anti-warning.

DriveSavers suggest they’re able to use a “new technology” to unlock and recover data from “passcode-protected smartphones of every make, model and operating system with any length passcode, including phones and tablets with more complicated passcodes of six digits or more.” This includes Android, iOS, Windows (?!), and BlackBerry. Phone maker brands listed by the company include: Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo, Xiaomi, LG, ZTE, OPPO, and Apple.

DriveSavers IS the largest company to recover data from drives for private citizens in the industry, or so they suggest. The video below was published by DriveSavers back in the year 2011, and it’ll give you a good idea of what they’re all about – pre-phones, anyway. They seem to be the real deal, and they suggest that their credibility depends upon their list of “industry standards”.

What’s been announced today by DriveSavers – the ability to unlock iPhones and iPads – means there may well be a way to access data on a locked iOS device. However, as it’s happened in the past, there’s no reason to suspect Apple isn’t already at work on a patch that’ll fix any such vulnerability in quick order. I’d say the same of the other companies above, but I’ve seen no such track record. Maybe the newest version of Android can somehow block this new method – but again, no news just yet.

Because this service exists, there is perhaps one instance in which you should be worried. If you keep all your valuable information on your iOS device and you’ve recently had your iOS device stolen – you might have a right to panic, JUST a little bit. The folks at DriveSavers aren’t discriminating between users attempting to access their break-in system, provided the users have the right documentation. They ask that those users aiming to access data in a locked device sign a form “requiring specific information identifying the right to the data.”

UPDATE 1: The service with which a user might access data on a smartphone or tablet (running any of the operating systems listed above) costs a pretty penny. As they revealed today, users can retrieve data from locked devices for approximately $3,900.

UPDATE 2: DriveSavers made abundantly clear that they’re all about getting that info proving ownership and the right to access data before they break in to a device. That means providing documents of many sorts – as they told MacRumors, “in some cases requesting documents that include death certificates, probate documents, court documents, and more.”

If you’re a villain of some sort, you’ll be glad to know that DriveSavers suggests the following: “This Passcode Lockout Data Recovery service may not be used by any law enforcement department or agency.” Good luck to you, FBI agents!

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