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iPhone Forensics

Jonathan Zdziarski
Published by O'Reilly Media
ISBN: 978-0-596-15358-8
138 pages
£ 24.99
Published: 17th September 2008
reviewed by Graham Lee
   in the December 2008 issue (pdf), (html)
bookcover  

The iPhone has been a runaway success, propelling Apple to the position of being the #2 mobile phone company in only a couple of years. Part of that success has been due to its popularity with enterprises, and it's likely to be the corporate I.T. administrator or security officer who gets the most out of this short book.

The technical discussion of recovering data from a device — including bypassing any passcode protection — is accurate and well-presented for both Mac and Windows users, but ultimately is only as engaging as a recipe to follow can be. It also would be unlikely to present any surprises to a computer security or forensics professional; especially one who already has an understanding of UNIX systems and their operation (the iPhone being, after all, a small UNIX computer).

The real interest in this book comes from the discussions of exactly what information is there to be taken; for instance the iPhone keeps a series of screenshots of the applications run by the user. For people using or administering iPhones this will provide an enlightening and perhaps worrying exposť on the perils of losing their beloved device (beyond of course the financial cost), although the book is too light in this respect to supply interesting context and explanations of these issues. A UNIX-savvy reader interested in those aspects of security would be better serviced by researching the general computer security field first, perhaps from O'Reilly's own “Practical UNIX Security” book. phone.

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