“In its efforts to make its devices more secure, Apple has crossed a significant threshold. Technologies the company has adopted protect Apple customers’ content so well that in many situations it’s impossible for law enforcement to perform forensic examinations of devices seized from criminals,” Simson Garfinkel reports for Technology Review. “Most significant is the increasing use of encryption, which is beginning to cause problems for law enforcement agencies when they encounter systems with encrypted drives.”

“”I can tell you from the Department of Justice perspective, if that drive is encrypted, you’re done,” Ovie Carroll, director of the cyber-crime lab at the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section in the Department of Justice, said during his keynote address at the DFRWS computer forensics conference in Washington, D.C., last Monday,” Garfinkel reports. “‘When conducting criminal investigations, if you pull the power on a drive that is whole-disk encrypted you have lost any chance of recovering that data,’ [Carroll said.]”

Garfinkel reports, “At the heart of Apple’s security architecture is the Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm (AES), a data-scrambling system published in 1998 and adopted as a U.S. government standard in 2001. After more than a decade of exhaustive analysis, AES is widely regarded as unbreakable. The algorithm is so strong that no computer imaginable for the foreseeable future—even a quantum computer—would be able to crack a truly random 256-bit AES key. The National Security Agency has approved AES-256 for storing top-secret data.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]