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iPhone security

I asked this question via a Comment to Rich Mogull's article in TidBITS on iPhone security.

But then I decided that this might be a better place to ask...... So:

I have an iPhone 3G running iOS 4.

I gather by the reference in Rich Mogull's article to 3GS and later that my data is not "secure." Correct?

If so, then my Dropbox data is partially secure behind the Dropbox 4 digit password but that's all? But that means not very secure.

And my email is not secure at all?

Solution? By a new iPhone 4. :-) Or are there less costly but much less enjoyable solutions? ;) ;)

Thanks.
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  • You're slightly mixing things here, Norm. The iPhone 3G doesn't support hardware encryption of the data on device, and there are known ways around the passcode, thus making it possible (not trivial for a technically unsophisticated thief, but possible) for someone to access your email and other data that would be protected by the hardware encryption, regardless of the passcode.

    With Dropbox, the security largely comes down to your password; if you have a weak password and someone can figure it out, steal it, or otherwise get it from you, they'll have access to all your files on Dropbox. I believe all Dropbox data is encrypted on the Web, so someone wouldn't be able to decode it without the password.

    The iPhone 4 would give you hardware encryption to protect your email and a few other types of data on the phone.

    But as always, you have to decide what the real liability is. xkcd said it best:

    http://xkcd.com/538/

    My advice for most people is to take sensible precautions and not stress about it too much. If you're not most people then you should feel free to be and act paranoid. :-)

    cheers... -Adam
    • Me.... mixing things up. Very possible I'll reluctantly admit. ;) ;)

      Your first paragraph I read as saying the data is not protected. Correct.

      Re: Dropbox. I was speaking of Dropbox data on my iPhone. If someone can access my iPhone, get past the four digit code, then they certainly can get past another four digit password ..... That was/is my concern and question.

      I like your .xkcd quote. ;)

      Thanks Adam,

      Norm
    • That's right, no hardware encryption on the iPhone 3G. And I don't know about Dropbox, but I suspect that even on an iPhone 4, its data wouldn't be encrypted. It is good that it has another passcode lock internally, at least.

      Of course, you can encrypt the files that you put in the Dropbox folder (1Password does this) so that would provide an additional layer of protection. If you were storing any really sensitive data in Dropbox, I'd recommend that (or just don't store the data there).
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  • Thanks Adam.
    Sounds like I "must" get a iPhone 4. ;)
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