The first KB article contains information on what data, exactly, is stored in a backup, where these backup files are on the computer, how to delete redundant files, how to protect backups with a password, and some other information.
The second article discusses both local and cloud storages, and describes the process of creating and restoring backups.
Manually with a right click (or Ctrl + right click) on an iOS device name in iTunes, then selecting Create Backup from the pop-up menu. Unlike other systems such as Windows Phone or Android, you may not choose which types of data will be backed up. The almost complete copy does not include content synced with the device, including movies, music, podcasts and applications. For each device, the system maintains a single backup (unless you manually copy files from the backup folder to another location before creating a fresh backup). You don’t have an iCloud account or you simply don’t trust the cloud (after all, your peace of mind is at least as important as actual security).
You want to ensure that your data is securely protected against third party access (of course, this implies restricted access to your computer). You are only allocated 5 GB of storage free of charge per Apple account, regardless of the number of Apple devices. You prefer your backups to be created automatically on your behalf every time you charge your iPhone within the range of a Wi-Fi network.
In order to configure your device to create or restore iCloud backups, you will need your Apple ID and password.
Make sure you have clear understanding of the fact that setting a backup password means that all backup copies of that device, all of them with no exception, wherever and whenever you make them, will be protected with that same password up to the moment you change it.
In the context of this article, we’ll mention that the keychain is present in both password-protected and non-password protected versions of backups. If, howeer, the backup is not protected with a password, you won’t get the keychain stored there unencrypted. If you made an unencrypted backup and want to restore it onto the same Apple device, no problem.
If, on the other hand, your backup WAS password-protected, the keychain is encrypted with that password and will be restored to a new device without a sweet (that is, if you still remember the password). Before going any further, I’ll say that iCloud backups are identical in their content to a local backup with no password protection. Now, considering that iCloud backups are not password-protected, the keychain stored in the cloud is encrypted with a hardware-specific key. Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker can brute force a password or use a smart dictionary attack. Of course, Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker can also decrypt the keychain; in particular, it can show passwords to mail accounts, Web sites and third-party applications. If you are running Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker on a PC that has iTunes installed, EPBB will display the list of all backups to all iOS devices synced to that computer, complete with their names, versions and phone numbers.
If iTunes is not installed (or if you are breaking a backup you manually copied from a different PC), you’ll need to specify path to “manifest.plist” from the backup file you are recovering.
If you choose Bruteforce attack, prepare to wait: even with GPU acceleration hardware, the recovery speed is not blazing fast.
As you can see from Figure 4, the current maximum recovery speed is about 50,000 passwords per second. When connected to the cloud, EPBB lists all backups of all devices registered on the same Apple ID, including serial numbers and names of these devices.
If you opt to download individual files by checking the Restore original file names option, you’ll be able to specify categories to download (e.g. Although the files have a binary structure, non-password protected local backups as well as iCloud backups are not encrypted (except keychain data). This DB contains geolocation coordinates of network base stations the device was connected to, complete with time and date. Note If you were using two-factor authentication to access your mailbox, social account or other resources, the password retrieved from the keychain will not do much as you’ll be able to use it without the secondary authorization factor only from the original device. Important If you recover a device from an iCloud backup, the registered email account of the corresponding Apple ID will receive a message notifying that the device has been recovered from a backup copy. When performing forensic analysis of a mobile backup, you’ll probably need to extract all information down to the last bit. To run Oxygen Forensic Suite, you’ll need a PC running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7. An iTunes backup can be imported into Oxygen Forensic Tools directly if it has no password or if the password is known. After importing the backup into Oxygen Forensic Suite, we can see a lot of interesting information. Interestingly, Oxygen Forensic Suite can recover and display deleted text messages and certain other types of information. Oxygen Forensic Suite comes with some of the most powerful analytic functionality available on the forensic market.
The powerful analytic features of Oxygen Forensic Suite will help forensic experts during investigations. View, edit and export your files with iBackupBot’s built-in plist Editor, Text Editor, Hex Editor, Database viewer, Image viewer, SMS Message Viewer, Notes Viewer, Call History Viewer, Address Book Viewer and more. Browse, view and export media files with iBackupBot’s built-in Media Browser, media files include: photos from camera roll, voice memo, voicemail, multimedia SMS message and media file of APPs. You can export SMS, MMS and iMessages into a SQLite database, Excel spreadsheet or CSV file.
Speaking of mobile forensics, you can extract a lot more information by making the complete copy of a device by performing physical acquisition. Best practice: let your device make daily iCloud backups, and create local backups manually at bi-weekly. Make sure the password is at least 8 characters long and contains characters from at least three character sets from the four sets available (small and capital letters, numbers, special characters).
Don’t assume that any degree of security in Apple devices means absolute safety of your information. We analyzed iOS backups and concluded that if you are using a smartphone, any talks about reasonable privacy or protection of your personal information must be taken with a grain of humor.
If you created a backup for one or more devices on your iCloud account, you can to delete one or all of these backups whenever you want.
Once you delete a backup for a particular device, iCloud backups will automatically become disabled for that device. Instead of deleting the entirety of your backup, you can remove certain apps from being included in the backup.
DisclaimerThis website is not owned by, is not licensed by nor is a subsidiary of Apple Inc. How to import contacts using Google ContactsNext, you'll import your vCard using Google.
Compared to 4-digit passcodes which have 10,000 possible combinations, their 6-digit counterparts strengthen your security with one million possible combinations, meaning 6-digit passcodes will be a lot tougher to crack. To further bolster your security, tap Require Passcode and choose whether iOS will ask for your passcode Immediately, After 1 minute, After 5 minutes, After 15 minutes, After 1 hour or After 4 hours.

If you are using Touch ID to unlock your device, only the Immediate option will be available in the Require Passcode section. Further below, you can allow or disallow access to the following features when your device is locked: the Today section within the Notification Center, the Notification Center itself, Siri, Wallet and the Reply with Message feature.
Disabling Siri on the Lock screen is a preferred security precaution which prevents anyone with access to your device to ask Siri to message people, pull contact information and so forth. To switch between six and four-digit numeric codes, a custom numeric code or a custom alphanumeric code for your passcode, tap on Passcode Options. Keep in mind that you must always punch in your passcode after restarting an iOS device, even if you have set up Touch ID to unlock it with your fingerprint.
Disable Simple Passcode to use a longer, alphanumeric passcode that’s inherently more secure, or a six-digit passcode. There’s not much you can do at this point other than erase the device, which deletes all of your data and settings, and restore it from the most recent iTunes or iCloud backup. After ten failed passcode attempts, iOS will wipe all data on your device if the Erase Data switch is set to the ON position in your Passcode settings.
You must erase your device and set it up as new, or restore it from a previously created iTunes or iCloud backup, in order to remove the passcode.
As mentioned, iOS uses your passcode to encrypt both your data and the hardware encryption keys with it. You can restore a device whose passcode you have forgotten as long as you haven’t also forgotten your iCloud login.
If you forget your passcode and dont even bother to remember your iCloud info either then you probably shouldn’t have an iPhone to begin with. I switched to the 6 pin on the first public beta, I always use Touch ID so it never gets in the way. After choosing the recovery mode, click the Start Scan button in the lower right corner of the interface. When you tick the data files you want to restore from your disabled iPad, click the Recover button in the bottom of the interface to get back and transfer all selected data files to computer.
They are getting increasingly more complex and increasingly more powerful, producing, consuming and storing more information than ever. They could make a backup copy once after reading an article urging them to back up their data… but that would be it. Should we choose local backups for more security or take the iCloud option for more versatility? Interestingly, in Apple security model, the password is a property of the device rather than the backup. If you run out of space, you can purchase additional storage capacity, up to 55 GB in total. With iCloud, you only get 5 GB of free storage, and can top your account at 55 GB regardless of the number of devices you have registered on that account. There is no question as to whether or not you should password-protect and encrypt your backups.
There is a theoretical possibility to recover the password with specialized software, which will be discussed later on, but it’s much easier (and faster!) just to keep the password in your head.
Instead, the keychain is being encrypted with a hardware sort of key (or, to be precise, with a key specific to a particular device). The device-specific keychain encryption key remains the same throughout the life of the device, so you’ll get your keychain items back. According to Apple, iCloud backups are intended for a sole purpose of restoring a device after factory reset or initializing a new device.
Consider the backup to be a “disk image” of a sort (although the backup itself occurs on a file system level). Therefore, you can easily recover secured items from the keychain onto the same device, but cannot do the same for a new device. While this is true content wise, the actual storage format is quite different between local and cloud backups. Apple does not specify whether two copies of each backup exist and are stored on both servers (more reliable) or if parts are stored on Microsoft servers and other parts on Apple servers (more secure). You can, for example, reset the device and restore it from the cloud backup, then enter a new password for local backups. As noted above, an AMD or NVIDIA video card can greatly speed up the recovery, so if you have a choice, go with a PC with a faster video card rather than one with a faster CPU. For example, you can specify password length or range (1 to 9 characters) and provide included character sets. In iOS 5, all applications and system data belongs to one of the 12 domains (including 11 system domains and 1 application domain). Twitter and Facebook, for example, are storing tokens after the first successful authorization. Interestingly, if you download the backup with Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker, the notification message is not sent. If the backup is protected with an unknown password, we’ll need Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker to recover the password. This is possible because text messages (as well as many other types of records) are stored in a SQLite database. Experts can view communication circles of the device owner, trace his or her routes by mapping historical geolocation, and do much more. This tool doesn’t come close to Oxygen Forensic Suite when analytic features are concerned, and only supports iOS backups (while Oxygen Forensic Suite recognizes several thousand devices). Now, you can select, view and even modify files before you replace them on your handheld device. Physical acquisition extracts more information than is contained in backup files, and enables experts to recover deleted files. Apple’s implementation of personal data protection is not ideal, but still bests many other solutions. Apple provides 5 GB of free iCloud storage, but as with all things concerning space, you can run out of it. If you recently upgraded to an iPhone 6 or newer device, you may still have old backups from previous devices taking up space on your iCloud account.
It should be noted, that this isn’t the most optimal way to free up storage, but is an alternative. But if you own an older device without Touch ID, or are still on iOS 9.0, you can transition to stronger passcodes with just a few taps.
To make iOS erase all data on this device after ten failed passcode attempts, flip the Erase Data switch to the ON position.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to enter your passcode when answering a call from the Lock screen. This can happen if you’re using a configuration profile that requires a passcode, which is common with business or education devices. It’s good practice to force a manual backup before changing your passcode, just in case you have a restore point in case you forget it. To verify that data protection is enabled after the passcode is set, scroll down to the bottom of the Passcode screen within Settings (or Touch ID & Passcode on Touch ID-enabled devices) and check that “Data protection is enabled” is visible.

But there’s so many devices on ebay that have this issue and most of the time that person forgot their icloud info as well.
Like us, tweet to us or +1 us, to keep up with our round the clock updates, reviews, guides and more. Our colleague and friend Vladimir Bezmaly (MVP Consumer security, Microsoft Security Trusted Advisor) shares some thoughts, tips and tricks on iTunes and iCloud backups.
Today’s smart mobile devices are much more than just phones intended to make and receive calls. Apple knows its users, and decided to explore the path yet unbeaten, making backups completely automatic and requiring no user intervention. Users have no tools to do anything meaningful with the data contained in these backups; they can only restore them onto a device.
There is a major difference between password-protected and non-password protected backups that is not directly related to security (more on that later). You can supplement iCloud backups with local copes by making a full iTunes backup on a monthly basis.
With Apple devices ranging from 8 GB to 128 GB memory and considering that most Apple users have at least two devices (e.g.
The only thing Apple wants you to do with these files is using them with their respective application. A typical local backup is usually created in 5 to 15 minutes depending on how much information you have. Even if you don’t need your old backups, you cannot “reset” the password without knowing the old one or resetting the device, losing all data in the process and having no ability to restoring from a password-protected backup. This encryption key is persistent to the device and can never change, even if you perform a full factory reset. If your backups are not password-protected, the keychain remains encrypted with a highly secure key specific to your old device.
You can only restore cloud backups onto a freshly initialized device, either new from Apple store or immediately following a factory reset. Just as you can’t write a disk image without overwriting content previously available on that disk, you cannot restore Apple backups without destroying content previously available on the device. As a result, iCloud is not a perfect backup solution when upgrades and changes in hardware are concerned. You won’t be able to change the password without entering an old one, and you won’t be able to restore from a password-protected backups without entering the password. If you know for sure the password did not contain any numbers or special characters, you can speed up the recovery by removing these sets.
Do note, however, that random edits to a backup file being restored to your iOS device can brick the device. If you are looking to save the most space I would suggest removing Photos and other large apps like Outlook that take up a ton of space and may continue to grow. You can also turn off passcode protection, which you’re totally discouraged from doing if you value your privacy and security. You will need to contact your company’s administrator to give you access to the Passcode section.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available on the Terms and Conditions page. It’s impossible to break, as Apple will lock your account after a certain unspecified number of unsuccessful attempts.
However, you can set up your phone to make cloud backups automatically, and manually create iTunes backups every now and then. Or what if you no longer have the original Apple device and are trying to initialize a replacement? Finally, if your computer is equipped with a gaming video card made by AMD or NVIDIA, Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker will make use of its powerful GPU’s to speed up the recovery (no joke, a single mid-range video card can increase the speed of breaking passwords some 10 or 20 times). The only thing that really matters is the fact that these backups contain a lot of your personal information stored on your PC in plain, unencrypted format.
Instead, blocks belonging to deleted records are moved into a special area until used by the database to store another record. All articles, images, logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owners.
Certainly, you are capable of selecting the data file you need to restore with iPad Data Recovery. But still, hesitating might put you in a troublesome position so go with the downgrade without giving it a second thought.
The iPhone handles our mail, plans our appointments, connects us to other people via social networks, takes and shares pictures, and serves as a gaming console, eBook reader, barcode scanner, Web browser, flashlight, pedometer and whatnot. Moreover, if are you somehow able to access the computer, you can copy a single small file, place it to another PC and backup the iOS device without being requested a passcode.
Of course, it can be recovered with social engineering or simply guessed if you re-used the same password over multiple accounts and documents that could be much easier to break.
Initial backup or restore can take many hours (subsequent backups are faster as they are incremental). As a result, in order to reset the password you’ll need to reset your Apple device, losing all information along the way.
However, if you got that key, you can decrypt the keychain for all future backups, even created after resetting the device. If you are using iCloud backups, the keychain can only be restored onto the same device it was backed up from. As a result, your typical iPhone handles tons of essential information, keeping the data somewhere in the device.
You don’t even have to know the file name as you can simply use a tool called Oxygen Forensic Suite, which will be discussed below. On the other hand, you can access these files from any Apple device registered with the same Apple ID. Their speed is limited by the speed of the cloud storage, which is far from amazing and is much slower than your typical DSL or cable Internet connection. In order to restore the keychain to a different device (or view it on your computer), you’ll need a password-protected local backup (and you’ll need to know the password). With time passing by, it’s easy to lose track of the password you used to create your backup, forgetting all about it when it comes to restoring the data.
This isn't always entirely accurate, so double-check your contacts after for duplicates. In this case, you need to try some other ways to restore your disabled iPad without iTunes. In this article we’ll discuss both options in detail, allowing you to make a weighed decision. If a new window pops up, you'll just have to select all of your contacts again, right click, and export again.

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