It’s possible to encrypt an iOS backup using iTunes. However, a piece of software has just been released which allows the encryption to be cracked, therefore giving someone full access to the data stored in your backup.
I suggested some reasons why to encrypt your iOS backups before, the main one being that your data is then protected. But this new software, called Phone Password Breaker Tool, is available to anyone wishing to pay a small fee for it. It’s being marketed as a tool to ‘recover’ password-protected devices, but it could also be used as a way for hackers to get access to your phone backups.
Able to get past the encryption on backups of both Apple’s iOS devices and BlackBerry devices, Phone Password Breaker will not only reveal the password set on the backup, but also extract passwords for mail accounts, websites and third-party applications — data that could be of great interest to malicious characters.
Luckily, the software requires the device to be physically connected to the computer in order to crack the encryption. That’s good news, since a hacker will need access to both the device and your computer — and if you’re sensible with your hardware, that isn’t likely to happen.
However, as Cult of Mac notes, it’s perfectly possible that a partner or other family member could grab your phone and take a sneaky look through your recent call history. If you have anything to hide (that call to the jewellers to arrange to pick up the engagement ring you bought, of course), make sure you keep an eye on where your phone is. To be really safe, remember not to store anything on the device that you wouldn’t potentially want a stranger reading.
Like I said, as long as you have your phone with you, there’s no need to worry, since physical access is required to use the tool.