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admin | Category: Trace A Phone Number | 02.02.2014
About a year ago I wrote a short post urging Apple to publish the technical details of iMessage encryption.
For those who aren't in the Apple ecosystem: iCloud is an optional backup service that Apple provides for free. The concern here is that Apple -- or a hacker who compromises Apple's directory server -- might instead deliver their own key. Moreover, iMessage lets you associate multiple public keys with the same account -- for example, you can you add a device (such as a Mac) to receive copies of messages sent to your phone.
The practical upshot is that the integrity of iMessage depends on Apple honestly handing out keys. While Apple may encrypt the contents of your communication, their statement doesn't exactly rule out the possibility they store who you're talking to. As a last -- and fairly minor point --  iMessage client applications (for iPhone and Mac) communicate with Apple's directory service using the HTTPS protocol. Using HTTPS is a good thing, and in general it provides strong protections against interception. But the flipside of my admiration is simple: I rely on these devices and want to know how secure they are.
First and foremost, the alleged hackers censored the last two digits of the phone numbers to “minimize spam and abuse”.
Indeed, the hackers make it clear they’re open to offering the uncensored database to third-parties such as “security researchers from around the world, professors from various universities, private investigators and attorneys”.
Say someone scanned the leaked Snapchat database and obtained your Snapchat username along with a phone number tied to your account. Just visit Snapchat.org or GS Lookup, type in your Snapchat username (or phone number) and the website will tell you whether your information is part of the leak. Even if you’re in the clear at this point, you should re-consider using the same phone number with Snapchat and other services such as Facebook and Twitter. STEP 1 – fire up Snapchat for iPhone (a free download from the App Store) and tap the little ghost icon at the top of the screen, as pictured below. Deciding that enough is enough, privacy freaks could be (rightfully) tempted to delete their Snapchat account.
As you could imagine, online services do a terrific job of burying the account deletion link where most average users won’t bother to look and Snapchat is no exception. STEP 4 – Double check that your old account no longer exists by logging out (hit the Sign Out link in the upper right) and attempting to re-login using your old credentials.


STEP 1 – First, delete your old Snapchat account by following the steps outlined in the previous section. Hopefully, this article will be helpful in case you feel the urge to delete your account, update your username or simply educate yourself on the security implications of the Snapchat hack.
That Snapchat, as of this writing, hasn’t even bothered to provide an official comment.
I'd love tell you that Apple saw my influential crypto blogging and fell all over themselves to produce a spec, but, no. The service is almost magically easy to use, which means Apple has made tradeoffs -- or more accurately, they've chosen a particular balance between usability and security. In this case the above won't apply to you, and Apple clearly says that their messages are end-to-end encrypted.
From what I can tell, the iMessage app gives the sender no indication of how many keys have been associated with a given iMessage recipient, nor does it warn them if the recipient suddenly develops new keys. If they cease to be honest (or if somebody compromises the iMessage servers) it may be possible to run a man-in-the-middle attack and silently intercept iMessage data.
But people should at least understand the strengths and weaknesses of the particular design that Apple has chosen.
This is the famous meta-data the NSA already sweeps up and (as I've said before) it's almost impossible not to at least collect this information, especially since Apple actually delivers your messages through their servers. And while Apple doesn't retain the content of your messages, their statement says nothing about all that metadata. It happened to hundreds of thousands of Iranian Gmail users, and it's likely to happen again in the future. I see absolutely no downside to Apple presenting at least a high-level explanation to experts, even if they keep the low-level details to themselves. Sooner or later someone will compromise or just plain reverse-engineer the iMessage system. What is clear is that iMessage does not include a 'key fingerprint' or any means for users to verify key authenticity, which means fundamentally you have to trust Apple to guarantee the authenticity of your keys. As you could imagine, the privacy implications of a breach that involves a service as popular as Snapchat are something of a headache. You should care because your phone number reveals your approximate geographical location (the country code). They also don’t support the ability to look up phone numbers based on someone’s username, if I might add.


This will invoke the settings interface where you can change the various aspects of your Snapchat account. Or, you might have decided to delete the existing account and register a new one, just to be on the safe side. Tap the gear icon in the upper right corner, scroll to the bottom and tap Log Out to log out of your old Snapchat account.
All companies don’t like being hacked and a lot refuse to comment after it has happened. Whatever the reason, people want to know which of our data Apple has and who they're sharing it with. And while there's nothing wrong with tradeoffs, the particulars of their choices make a big difference when it comes to your privacy. Now change your password using Apple's iForgot service (this requires you to answer some simple security questions or provide a recovery email). There's still a very real possibility that a capable attacker could obtain a forged certificate (possibly by compromising a Certificate Authority) and thus intercept or modify communications with Apple. The standard solution to this problem is called 'certificate pinning' -- this essentially tells the application not to trust unknown certificates. This would include the type and nature of the encryption algorithms used, the details of the directory service and the key agreement protocol.
By witholding these details, Apple is preventing its users from taking steps to protect themselves. But even if they don't, it's unlikely that many security answers contain enough entropy to use for encryption. Again, you can’t create a new account that has the same username as your deleted Snapchat account.
The device key may leave the device in case of backups (like in case of encrypted itunes backups).
Why are you trying to go hard and bash on him making accordance to the brand of his smartphone?!? However based on the testing I did while writing this post, Apple doesn't.Out of curiosity, did you explicitly test a forged or untrusted cert to determine this?



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