AuthentificationCyberCrimeSecuritySecurity Management

Apple iOS 10.2 Public Beta Strengthens iTunes Backup Encryption

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

Follow on:

The Cupertino company boasts backup encryption that will take 1,000 years to hack

Apple has released a public beta of iOS 10.2, bringing a local backup for iPhones and iPads that is tougher to crack through brute force techniques than the previous versions.

The Cupertino company claims password-protected backups of iTunes take nearly a millennium to hypothetically crack into by hackers.

“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,” the company said.

“Our user’s password is safer than ever, taking the better part of a 1,000 years for our hypothetical hacker to crack.”

Apple shoring-up security

iOs 10Previous versions of iOS 10 could be hacked 2,500 times faster using brute force than iOS 9, taking a mere three hours to breech into.

Apple clearly decided to take action upon this with the iOS 10.2 beta, and apply the brakes to any would-be hackers looking to breach backups.

It is worth noting that breaching such backups would require access to a computer with the local backup stored upon it, but strengthening the encryption helps Apple go some ways to tackle the increasing sophistication of cyber attacks and state-sponsored hacker operations from swiping private or sensitive data that could be stored on such backups.

Apple iPhone 7

Image 1 of 9

iPhone 7 (1)

Given Apple is also a big champion of privacy through encryption, it comes as no surprise it wants to bolster iOS 10, especially to compensate for previous lack lustre security with its backups.

The new beta also brings in tweaks and new features to the Video and Camera apps, as well as new options with music, messaging, and accessibility features.

The launch of iOS 10 has not exactly been smooth for Apple, with the company being forced to apologise for iPhone update issues upgrading to iOS 10 threw up in September.

Quiz: How well do you know Apple?