As we all know Apple has recently released the first iOS 10.2 beta, and in addition to new emoticons, it appears that the company has made an under-the-hood change that’s critical for the security of data included in backups.
Security experts at iMazing explain that iOS 10.2 beta makes encrypted backups no less than “1,000 times safer,” as the OS update also increases the required processing power to crack the password.
Apple attempted to bolster the security of encrypted backups with iOS 10 in the very first version, but due to a security flaw, the company offered exactly the opposite, and made backups actually easier to hack.
Cupertino fixed the problem quite fast, and 10.1 introduced a fix in this regard, blocking brute force attacks and making passwords almost impossible to hack.
iOS 10.2 beta
But this has all been improved in the last beta and should become available for everyone when iOS 10.2 goes live for all users, as it’s currently in testing with developers and users enrolled in the beta program.
“Now in the first iOS 10.2 beta, things changed yet again, and Apple packed a little surprise for would-be attackers: not only is the entire backup database now encrypted, but validating a user password is now much more demanding in terms of processing power, requiring many more iterations to generate the derived key. Our user’s password is safer than ever, taking the better part of a 1’000 years for our hypothetical hacker to crack,” iMazing explains.
Apple pledged to increase the security of its products ever since the FBI tried to force the company into hacking the iPhone that was owned by one of the San Bernardino terrorists. Apple refused, but the FBI eventually managed to break into the device with help from hackers whose names have not been disclosed.
Apple is reportedly trying to build a hackerproof iPhone as well, and it’s likely that this increased security of encrypted iTunes backups is part of this plan. The company hasn’t yet confirmed the strengthened security of iTunes backups, but more information will probably be provided when iOS 10.2 is out of beta.