Sep 17, 2015 06:00 AM EDT

iOS 9 Tightens iPhone, iPad Security; Cracking The Six-Digit Code Means Trying 1M Possible Combinations

By Alex Cruz


iOS 9, the latest operating software update released by Apple, has under the hood improvements, such as battery life optimization and app thinning. However, the most important enhancement that the Cupertino-based company probably has incorporated in the update is security.

For additional security, the new iOS 9 prompts users to create a six-digit code instead of the usual four, according to MacRumors. Additionally, a two-factor authentication is also supported by the new OS update.

These changes, though may sound simple, will make it harder for another person to access or embezzle important information stored in specific user's iPhone or iPad.

Technically, with the new six-digit code, the so-called gadget invader will have to try one million possible combinations, compared with the four-digit code, with only 10,000 possible combinations, InfoWorld has learned.

The report further stated that there were researchers who recently came up with a system that could break the four-digit code between six seconds to 17 hours. Adding two digits will reportedly make it harder to break in, requiring several months of effort.

The site also learned from iOS Hacker's Handbook that a strong combination of six-digit alphanumeric code will take 196 years to crack.

Some gave it a try on iPad Air 2 after iOS 9 upgrade. According to Huffpost Tech, the device asked them to enter the six-digit code by default, but on an iPhone 5 without the Touch ID, they had to manually switch it to the six-digit option.

iOS 9 update also protects users' iCloud accounts. The two-factor authentication system will not only make it difficult to access, but it will also serve as an alerting mechanism.

If the user receives a notification, requesting for a verification code without him requesting one, that means someone is trying to fraudulently use his Apple ID.

Caleb Barlow, vice president of IBM Security, stated on Security Intelligence that Apple's move of adding two digits on the passcode with iOS 9 has been a small step for users, but it will be a huge forward leap for the entire mobile security.

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