Author Archives: Jonathan Zdziarski

About Jonathan Zdziarski

Respected in his community as an iOS forensics expert, Jonathan is a noted security researcher, penetration tester, and hacker. Author of many books ranging from machine learning to iPhone hacking and software development, Jonathan frequently trains many federal and state law enforcement agencies in digital forensic techniques and assists law enforcement and the military in high profile cases. Jonathan is also inventor on several US patent applications, father of DSPAM and other language classification technology, and an App Store developer. All opinions expressed on this website are the author's own. Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @JZdziarski

An Example of Forensic Science at its Worst: US v. Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair

In early 2014, I provided material support in what would end up turning around what was, in their own words, the US Army’s biggest case in a generation, and much to the dismay of the prosecution team that brought me … Continue reading

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No Trespassing

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White Paper: Identifying back doors, attack points, and surveillance mechanisms in iOS devices

I received word from the editor-in-chief that the author of an accepted paper has permission to publish it on his website, and so I am now making my research available to anyone who wishes to read it. The following paper, “Identifying back doors, attack … Continue reading

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Security Firm Stroz Friedberg Has Validated My Latest Research

Security firm Stroz Friedberg has published findings validating the technical claims of my latest research, by independently reproducing them against iOS 7 and iOS 8 Beta 4 (NOTE: as I mentioned, Apple has already begun addressing these issues in Beta … Continue reading

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A Post-Mortem on ZDNet’s Smear Campaign

A few days after I gave a talk at the HOPE/X conference titled, “Identifying Backdoors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices”, ZDNet published what their senior editor has described privately to me as an opinion piece, however passed … Continue reading

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Apple is Making Progress

Apple’s new, relaxed NDA rules appear to allow me to talk about the iOS 8 betas. I will hold off on the deep technical details until the final release, as I see that Apple is striving to make a number … Continue reading

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Finding and Shooting Mountain Streams

Up in the mountains of northern Maine are a number of peaceful, hidden moss-covered streams off in the woods. They’re not difficult to find, you just need to look for the culverts on mountain roads, and then you can follow … Continue reading

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Apple’s Authentication Scheme and “Backdoors” Discussion

I’ve heard a number of people make an argument about Apple’s authentication front-ending the services I’ve described in my paper, including the “file relay” service, which has opened up a discussion about the technical definition of a backdoor. The primary … Continue reading

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Oxygen Forensics: Latest Forensics Tool to Exploit Apple’s “Diagnostic Service” to Bypass Encryption

While Apple’s claims may be that a key subject of my talk, “Identifying Backdoors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices” (com.apple.mobile.file_relay) is for diagnostics, a recent announcement from the makers of the fantastic Oxygen Forensics suite shows strong … Continue reading

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Roundup of iOS Backdoor (AKA “Diagnostic Service”) Related Tech Articles

There are a lot of terrible news articles out there, and a lot of terrible “journalists” who have either over-hyped my research, or dismissed it entirely. After ZDNet’s utterly horrible diatribe about my research, I posted a proof-of-concept to help … Continue reading

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Dispelling Confusion and Myths: iOS Proof-of-Concept

Here’s my iOS Backdoor Proof-of-Concept: http://youtu.be/z5ymf0UsEuw When I originally gave my talk, it was to a small room of hackers at a hacker conference with a strong privacy theme. With two hours of content to fit into 45 minutes, I … Continue reading

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Apple Confirms “Backdoors”; Downplays Their Severity

Apple responded to allegations of hidden services running on iOS devices with this knowledge base article. In it, they outlined three of the big services that I outlined in my talk. So again, Apple has, in a traditional sense, admitted … Continue reading

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Apple Responds, Contributes Little

In a response from Apple PR to journalists about my HOPE/X talk, it looks like Apple might have inadvertently admitted that, in the most widely accepted sense of the word, they do indeed have backdoors in iOS, however claim that … Continue reading

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Slides from my HOPE/X Talk

Identifying Backdoors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices In addition to the slides, you may be interested in the journal paper published in the International Journal of Digital Forensics and Incident Response. Please note: they charge a small … Continue reading

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Silk Sun

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Tone Mapping Your Photography with Topaz Simplify

Lately I’ve been writing articles about Topaz Simplify, and some of the things you can do with it. Most people think tools like Simplify are only useful for creating mosaics or other types of artful interpretations of a photograph, but … Continue reading

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Augmenting Surrealistic HDRs with Topaz Simplify

This is a very small post-processing trick I’ve picked up that can help take the edge off of an HDR or other type of photo that just needs a touch of surrealistic contrast. Here, I’m using a product called Topaz … Continue reading

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Evening Silk

Bar Harbor, Maine has one of the earliest sunrises on the eastern seaboard. Which is exactly why I decided to sleep in, and find some good sunset locations instead. I did, actually, find some good sunrise locations (a few hundred … Continue reading

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Celebrating Hackers in Portrait and Journalism

Hackers are often engaged in the arts, as we’re creative people. I’m a hacker, a purveyor of funky bass guitar, a Greek nerd, and a photographer (as well as a number of other things). As a photographer, one of my … Continue reading

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The Better Your “Workflow”, the More Your Photos Need Help

Lately, I’ve seen countless budding photographers offer video courses (for a hefty price) that teach people about workflow; how to make your photos dazzle and look just like their photos. The kind of “retouch ’till you’re blue in the face” kind … Continue reading

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