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posted by janrinok on Saturday August 06, @10:04AM   Printer-friendly
from the not-for-the-faint-hearted dept.

Data recoverers finally cracks the locked down Apple M1 chip:

Apple's highly secure M1 chip is a tough nut to crack, but it appears the experts at DriveSavers have finally done it. The company announced they "may be the first" to recover data from the M1 in a recent press release.

DriveSavers is confident in this because the company's engineers successfully transplanted an M1 chip from a faulty logic board to a functional one, which enables them to access the data.

It's quite a feat, particularly because the M1 has a lot of security measures preventing outside users from manually accessing the data. For one, the SSD controller — the component that controls the input/output of data on the drive — is housed in M1 itself. That means, if the SoC fails, the ability to access the drive goes with it. Combine that with the T2 security chip's encrypted data storage functionality, and it's clear to see that accessing an Apple SSD is no easy feat anymore.

Then, there's the logic board itself. As DriveSavers mentions in the press release: "There are thousands of surface-mounted micro-components on a logic board, and Apple has done their best to obfuscate what is necessary to gain access to the encrypted data. Without that knowledge, data recovery from a failed logic board is impossible."

So, in order to access the M1 SSD, the data engineers had to remove the SoC from the faulty logic board and reattach it to a functioning one, all while nailing every micro-component needed to allow the logic board and the system components to communicate. It no doubt took a lot of trial and error, but this is a big step for data recovery on Macs.


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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Rich on Saturday August 06, @11:40AM (2 children)

    by Rich (945) on Saturday August 06, @11:40AM (#1265249) Journal

    Yet it is. Go figure, concerning RtR, how you, the people are really represented. Anyway, in the light of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cNg_ifibCQ [youtube.com] (MacBook Pros frying their SSD with high voltage for good), have a current backup and just be prepared to throw the machine away (or rather, sell it for the remaining spares unobtainable elsewhere). If the 13V fry happens, there's no data left to recover for the guys from TFA. I type this on one of those suicidal MacBook Pros, seeing the video instantly got me over my backup laziness.

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  • (Score: 3, Touché) by drussell on Saturday August 06, @07:30PM (1 child)

    by drussell (2678) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 06, @07:30PM (#1265337) Journal

    Remember, in Apple's paradigm you're not supposed to store anything important locally, everything is to be stored, backed up, or archived into the iCloud. 🙄

    • (Score: 2) by Rich on Sunday August 07, @12:46AM

      by Rich (945) on Sunday August 07, @12:46AM (#1265366) Journal

      If they finally completely break local backups, I might be able to shake the habit, but I'd still have to write a decent desktop search for MATE to do so. :)