Moscow, Russia (PRWEB) April 29, 2011
The recent discovery on how Apple tracks the location of its users is just the beginning. iPhone and iPad have a long track record of spying on their users. These threats, while sparkling less buzz with the Internet community, were discovered much earlier than the discovery of the notorious consolidated.db file in iOS 4. Oxygen Software reveals the results of its discovery.
The recent buzz about the geolocation cache is not, in fact, a recent discovery. The issue dates more than six months back, and is well-known to the forensic community. Developers of various forensic solutions including Oxygen Forensic Suite were able to access that file from the device and present it to the reviewer.
The Issue with “consolidated.db”
The file itself first appeared in iOS 4 last year. Information about user waypoints based on GPS data, cell tower signal data and the location of known Wi-Fi access points is being logged in the consolidated.db file. The accuracy of geolocation coordinates detected by the iPhone device depends on many parameters including the source of information, signal strength, as well as the time the user stays in one place. The longer the user stays in, the more records from various data sources will be added to the list, and the more precisely the user’s location can be determined. By using dedicated software such as Oxygen Forensic Suite 2011, one can map and visualize all the places visited by the user.
Protecting Oneself from Being Tracked
The solution is seemingly easy. Simply disabling the Location Services option in the device keeps the tracking file empty, and iPhone does not attempt to determine user’s location at any time. As with any privacy protection option, disabling Location Services deprives users of being able to look up for nearby facilities.
However, disabling the Location Services option is still not a viable solution for the privacy purists.
No Protection Still
If an iPhone gets into hands of forensic experts, they can retrieve the list of user’s geographic locations based on other sources of information. For example, since early 2010, Apple devices keep a time-stamped log of Wi-Fi access points, which by itself is a pretty good hint on the user’s location. And even if that option is disabled, there are still plenty of others to discover.
About Oxygen Forensic Suite 2011:
Oxygen Forensic Suite 2011 is a forensic software suite designed to retrieve and analyze user data from cell phones, smart phones and PDAs. The current release recognizes more than 2,000 models. The suite is used by government and law enforcement agencies, security services and forensic organizations in more than 50 countries. Oxygen Forensic Suite enables users to extract basic phone and SIM card data including contacts, call history, SMS / MMS / Email messages from all standard and custom folders, deleted SMS messages (with restrictions), calendar events, tasks, notes, photos, video, Lifeblog data (all phone events with geographic coordinates), Java applications, file system from phone memory and a flash card, Wi-Fi traffic, web connections and GPRS/geolocation history, voice records and other data.
Pricing & Availability
Oxygen Forensic Suite 2011 is available for $799 through the Oxygen Software Store, and Oxygen’s Authorized Resellers: TEEL Technologies (USA and Canada) and Data Duplication Ltd (UK and Europe). The free 30-day evaluation version with more information and online documentation are also available at the same site.
About Oxygen Software
Founded in 2000, Oxygen Software delivers solution for mobile devices and supplies the most advanced forensic data examination tools for smartphones and mobile devices. The company strives to provide the most comprehensive forensic solutions for mobile devices running Symbian OS, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, iOS, and Android. As a result, Oxygen Forensic Suite consistently wins the highest awards in media, and occupies the top of the list in relevant tests for extracting more data than competition. More information at http://www.oxygen-forensics.com