Well known iOS hacker Majd Alfhaily, with the Twitter name freemanrepo, has created a brute-force utility tool for iOS called TransLock that can brute-force the passcode of a jailbroken iPhone quite fast.
Recently, security firm MDSec managed to obtain information about a device known as IP Box, used in the phone repair markets to brute-force the iOS lock screen. The IP Box works by stimulating the PIN entry over the USB connection and subsequently brute-force every possible PIN combination to unlock the iPhone secured with a passcode.
A noteworthy feature of this is it works even after the "Erase data after 10 attempts" configuration setting is enabled. According to the firm, the IP Box can bypass this restriction by connecting directly to the iPhone's power source and aggressively cutting the power after each failed PIN attempt.
On the negative side, each PIN takes about 40 seconds, which means it would take up to 111 hours to brute-force a 4-digit PIN. The firm is confirmed to have tested this attack on an iPhone 5s running iOS 8.1.
Meanwhile, Majd Alfhaily managed to replicate the attack, while covering the entire process without using hardware hacks. But all you need is a jailbroken iOS device to gain unsigned code execution privilege.
On the contrary, Majd's TransLock tool would only take 14 hours to try all the possible passcode combinations from 0000 up to 9999. This is possible since he has coded the TransLock tool in such a way that the device does not disable the passcode after 10 failed attempts and he was able to try a PIN every five seconds, as opposed to IP Box, wherein each PIN takes about 40 seconds.
You can find TransLock utility here.
Although the TransLock utility for iOS is quite interesting, that does not mean that the iPhone is vulnerable to hacking. Check out the following points.
- Non-jailbroken phones are not vulnerable to this hack.
- A user needs to have physical access to your device to perform this hack.
- Also, a complex passcode would increase the security of your iPhone.