iPhone Cracking Methods Like GrayKey Box Can Guess A Six-Digit Password Within 11 Hours

Law enforcement authorities have a new iPhone cracking tool that works with all modern iPhones on average and the newest versions of iOS 11, the GrayKey, designed by the company called Grayshift. Here are the details you need to know about how iPhone unlocking can be done in just hours.

Previous reports which circulated on the internet web last month or so, have suggested the GrayKey can crack 4-digit passcodes in a matter of hours and 6-digit passcodes in days, but as highlighted, cracking times for the GrayKey and other similar iPhone unlocking methods can potentially be even faster and when you take a 6-digit passcodes, which no longer offer adequate protection.

GrayKey iPhone cracking box, via MalwareBytes
Matthew Green, assistant professor and cryptographer at John Hopkins Information Security Institute, said this on Twitter that with an exploit that disables Apple’s passcode-guessing protections, a 4-digit passcode is crackable in 6.5 minutes on average, whereas the 6-digit passcode can be calculated in just 11 hours, not days.

Although Apple has fixed an option to erase an iPhone after 10 incorrect passcode guessing attempts and there does are automatic delays after a wrong passcode has been entered more than five times, but GrayKey appears to bypass these built-in protections.

It’s not clear if the GrayKey can reach the fastest unlocking times outlined by Green, but even at slower unlocking speeds, it only takes days to get into an iPhone with a 6-digit passcode. Comparatively, it takes over a month to crack an iPhone with an 8-digit passcode, or more than 13 years to get into an iPhone with a 10-digit passcode.

For the unknown, with iOS 9, Apple switched from a four-digit passcode to a 6-digit passcode as the default, making iOS device more secure, but to those concerned about their iPhones being accessed either by law enforcement with the GrayKey or by a hacker with a similar cracking tool, a 6-digit passcode is no longer good enough.

Several security experts believe and suggest that people should use an alphanumeric passcode that’s at least seven characters long and uses numbers, letters, and symbols.

“People should use an alphanumeric passcode that isn’t susceptible to a dictionary attack and that is at least 7 characters long and has a mix of at least uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and numbers,” Ryan Duff, a researcher who’s studied iOS and the Director of Cyber Solutions for Point3 Security, told me in an online chat. “Adding symbols is recommended and the more complicated and longer the passcode, the better, Motherboard says.”

To change your iPhone’s passcode from a simple numeric 6-digit passcode to something more secure, you’ll, however, need to use the Settings app. Go to “Face ID & Passcodes” in the Settings app, enter your current passcode, scroll down, and then choose “Change Passcode.”

Of course, you’ll be asked to enter your new passcode on this screen, but you’ll actually want to tap on the blue “Passcode Options” text towards the middle of the display. Choose “Custom Alphanumeric Code” in order to enter a passcode that consists of letters, numbers, and symbols.

Once an alphanumeric passcode is placed, you’ll no longer be presented with a numeric keyboard when unlocking your iPhone, and instead, you’ll see a full keyboard available to type in your new passcode. This is how you can make a secure iPhone passcode 6-digits.

There’s a definite compromise between easy device accessibility and security when using a longer alphanumeric passcode like this. That’s because, it is a lot easier to type six numbers than it is to type a mixed character alphanumeric passcode into an iOS device, but again, for a complete security, longer and more complex is the way to go perfectly.

You may also like to check out:

(Visited 25 times, 1 visits today)