Monday, April 4, 2016

What if the FBI wanted to hack a smartphone on Android? –


iPhone Hacking has become a big problem not only for the FBI, but also for the company Apple. We know that the information stored in the iPhone, is very well protected. Smartphones on Android captured the market, they are much more popular. Certainly for all time the existence of the mobile OS from Google security services had to break them too, but was not heard of any scandals. Perhaps the fact that hacking smartphones on Android security services well do without assistance?

Colleagues from Mashable have tried to answer one simple question . If the hands of the FBI, instead of iPhone 5c proved smartphone running the Android operating system, it would be easier for them to break it and get the right information? To answer this question, it was necessary to study information on the principles of operation of the data encryption in Android, as well as the existing possibilities of access to data.

The most simple method of hacking

Android encrypts the data using a key that is generated based on the password lockout data and complex code, which is unique to each device. Get encryption key is very difficult, but it is possible to do without it.

  • On the device can be installed an application to retrieve information. In 2011, Google to remotely install programs, cleans smartphones infected with malware. We do not know whether Google can repeat something similar to modern versions of Android.
  • Many applications use Backup API in Android. The information that is stored on the server, can be obtained without access to the device, but it all depends on what applications are used store data on the server.
  • Many Android smartphones allow you to store data on the microSD card. This information can be deciphered. Only the latest version of Android allows to protect the information on the memory card. Many applications, in turn, do not use encryption for data stored on the memory card.
  • Some smartphones on Android equipped with a fingerprint reader, which can be tricked by using copies of prints of the owner.
  • Some users discover root-rights for its smartphones. This severely reduces the safety of the device and unties the hands of hackers.

If none of the above methods are not available, have to fight with the lock code and an encryption key. Other smartphones on Android can vary greatly. Some of them may increase the waiting periods between each new attempt to enter a password, others can delete data after several unsuccessful attempts to enter.

Password Hacking

It is impossible to talk about how protection is arranged on each Android-smartphone. Manufacturer and model very much. For their experiments in Mashable used Nexus 4 Android 5.1.1, which was protected by a lock code. On the smartphone was turned on encryption. After 40 incorrect password attempts a device to delete the data, but after every 5 incorrect attempts to enter it made to wait no more than 30 seconds.

In the end, the device was hacked by means of a specially designed program that reset the password on the device, replacing it with a new one. However, there is no certainty that this method will work with any other device running Android. It turns out that the FBI have a chance to crack the Android-smartphone. The chances increase if we take into account another fact.

Special services can get help

The state could oblige Apple to crack the iPhone, however, faced with the reluctance of Tim Cook and engineers do it. If the FBI gets hands smartphone on Android, it is likely that Google agrees to help. However, even if Google refuses, the security services may apply to mobile operators or the manufacturer of the smartphone. Every Android smartphone and its software have been designed strength of several companies. Some of them can be quite accommodating.

Google, mobile operators and smartphone manufacturers like Samsung and HTC may release an update for a particular device, OS version, which will solve the problem of the security services. If Apple is ready to deal with the state, the mobile operators or other manufacturers of smart phones this may not be needed.


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