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iPhone X running iOS 12.3.2 - 4 digit passcode. iCloud backup, but has been deleted online as well have I changed Apple ID password.

I know that AES 256 bit encryption cannot be decrypted, and I know about the USB Restricted Mode.

The phone was past boot phase and had been unlocked once. However, when I lost it, USB Restricted Mode was enabled. is it therefore impossible to brute force it? Because brute forcing such a weak code would be child’s play.

Also would it be possible for a hacker/police to just physically remove the hard drive from the phone, then insert it into some other machine and proceed to brute force?

I know about the fbi case with apple, but that was a while ago. Maybe things have changed? I know the Israelis forensic team and Greykit can unlock up to iOS 12.3. Mine version is 12.3.2

Also how does Checkm8 fit into all of this?

Thx in advance!

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There isn’t a hard drive in iPhones, and Apple has engineered things so that it’s very expensive to get to the leads and snoop or alter the electrical signals to defeat encryption, so there’s no trivial path to decrypt or bring another os to your storage.

However, you should assume that unless you’re very good the police and government can get your data by coercion or brute force - especially if their budget is $25,000 or more (and maybe far less to compromise some devices). Your 4 digit pass phrase is the weakest link so that weakens your protection substantially if iOS is not set to self erase after 10 failed attempts.

Also, just because an exploit or jailbreak isn’t out now, doesn’t mean they can’t image or keep your device and crack it later. The iPhone X is way on the “more secure” side so unless you chose a weak pass phrase, you’re probably safe for some time to come if they didn’t get your data from a subpoena / home computer which are far easier to seize and crack and then get to your records by account takeover.

There are jailbreaks for your device on both iOS 12 and iOS 13 so I wouldn’t assume you’re safe if they have physical control of the device and time to work it and get USB active:

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Can police/hackers unlock iPhones?

Yes.

Actually, it's more accurate to say that police have access to tools that can access iOS and Android devices. The company is Cellebrite and for $1,500, police can send in the device to be unlocked.

From a 2018 Forbes article The Feds Can Now (Probably) Unlock Every iPhone Model In Existence

"With its service offering, Cellebrite can retrieve (without needing to root or jailbreak the device) the full file system to recover downloaded emails, third-party application data, geolocation data and system logs. Agencies can either provide the device already unlocked, furnish the known passcode, or use Cellebrite’s Advanced Unlocking Services to unlock the device.

"Once the device is unlocked and/or extracted, it is returned to the originating agency. Any extracted data is also sent to the agency in encrypted form to ensure privacy and protect operational information."

I have personally seen a demo of this software and I can confirm that it does in fact work.

There’s also another product called GrayKey by an Atlanta based GrayShift that can break into the iPhone models X and 11. Getting direct info fro GraySift is difficult as their website employees a proxy that filters for active law enforcement organizations

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