Software-based methods used to break or bypass authentication mechanisms have begun to appear. For instance, some tools provide an automated function to recover passwords from locked mobile devices. This type of functionality varies greatly between mobile forensic tools and the device models that are supported.

Hardware-based methods involve a combination of software and hardware to break or bypass authentication mechanisms and gain access to the device. For example, the value of a mobile device lock can be readily recovered from a memory dump of certain devices, allowing for a follow-on logical acquisition. JTAG and flasher boxes are often used this way to circumvent authentication mechanisms. Device-specific attacks, such as cold boot attacks, exist to bypass authentication mechanisms. Cold boot attacks have the ability to recover passwords from locked Android-based devices by cooling the device 10 degrees below Celsius, followed by disconnecting and reconnecting the battery in 500ms intervals.

Few general-purpose hardware-based methods apply to a general class of mobile devices. Most of the techniques are tailored for a specific model within a class.


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