iPhone: Vital Database(s) Exposed!!!

Yeah, you guessed it right. Apple iPhone uses some database(everyone has to) in backend to store all its vital information like –
1) Call History
2) Address Book
3) SMS (Text Messages)
4) Notes
5) VoiceMails
6) Calendar Events.

And the database is SQLite:the most widely deployed SQL database engine in the world.
No userName/Password security applied to the any of the above mentioned databases. This means anyone has access to above databases from anywhere like – iTunes backup folder or by any other hacky way, can breach into users privacy. Want to know how? Read on…

I got emails asking can we read CallHistory from iPhone and how to read those files. So this blog is dedicated to all of them.

Bit Theory: Definitely not Crap.

SQLite database has exposed C/C++ API’s that can be used to connect to DB files and execute queries on it. Official Website of SQLite has decent documentation of the API’s.

For basic database operations, we need only few API’s and here is brief about them.
1) int sqlite3_open(
const char *filename, /* Database filename (UTF-8 ) */
sqlite3 **ppDb /* OUT: SQLite db handle */

This API opens connection to SQLite Database file and returns a database connection object. This is the first step for any SQLite based application.

2) int sqlite3_prepare(
sqlite3 *db, /* Database handle */
const char *zSql, /* SQL statement, UTF-8 encoded */
int nByte, /* Maximum length of zSql in bytes. */
sqlite3_stmt **ppStmt, /* OUT: Statement handle */
const char **pzTail /* OUT: Pointer to unused portion of zSql */

This API converts SQL text into a prepared statement object and return a pointer to that object. This interface requires a database connection pointer created by a prior call to sqlite3_open() and a text string containing the SQL statement to be prepared.

3) int sqlite3_step(sqlite3_stmt*);

This API is used to evaluate a prepared statement that has been previously created by the sqlite3_prepare() interface. The statement is evaluated up to the point where the first row of results are available. To advance to the second row of results, invoke sqlite3_step() again. Continue invoking sqlite3_step() until the statement is complete. Statements that do not return results (ex: INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE statements) run to completion on a single call to sqlite3_step().

4) int sqlite3_finalize(sqlite3_stmt *pStmt);
This API destroys a prepared statement created by a prior call to sqlite3_prepare(). Every prepared statement must be destroyed using a call to this routine in order to avoid memory leaks.

5) int sqlite3_close(sqlite3 *);

This routine closes a database connection previously opened by a call to sqlite3_open(). All prepared statements associated with the connection should be finalized prior to closing the connection.

The API sqlite3_exec() interface is a convenience wrapper that carries out all four of the above API’s with a single function call. A callback function passed into sqlite3_exec() is used to process each row of the result set.
6) int sqlite3_exec(
sqlite3*, /* An open database */
const char *sql, /* SQL to be evaluted */
int (*callback)(void*,int,char**,char**), /* Callback function */
void *, /* 1st argument to callback */
char **errmsg /* Error msg written here */

The 3rd parameter is an optional callback that is invoked once for each row of any query results produced by the SQL statements. You need to handle all printing and displaying of fetched data in the callback function.

The return value SQLITE_OK of sqlite3_exec() indicated all SQL statements run successfully while non-zero return value indicates the other side of execution.

Please visit here for detailed information of other API’s.

Comming back to iPhone and different DB’s used by it, we can always retrieve all the information from them. You just need to put all above API’s in C syntax and done.

Apple iPhone CallHistory Database:

DB Name: call_history.db
Important Table: Call
Important Columns from table Call: Address, Date, Duration, ID ( This can be used to query out Caller ID information from AddressBook Database.)

I have written some small tools that can give you all Address Book information from command line.
Here is the snip of output of my tool.
[bughira@toolchain sqlite_progs]$ ./get_address_book DB/AddressBook.sqlitedb

———- GetMe_iPhone_AddressBook ———-
Author: Bughira (bughira@gmail.com)

[+] Trying to Fetch the contacts from AddressBook.
[+] Done!! AddressBook.txt file should have all the fetched contacts.
[bughira@toolchain sqlite_progs]$ tail AddressBook.txt

First = Bill
Last = Gates
value = +1 (214) 269-2813

First = Linus
Last = Torvalds
value = +1 (647) 469-2869

First = Richard
Last = Stallman
value = +1 (407) 834-1891

<Rest of the output is cut for brevity>

I have a demo of this in coming week, I’ll upload the code of my tool once I am done with it.

For all those lazy bumps who don’t want to code and all desperadoes who can’t wait that long, A GUI based SQLite browser is available. You can always use it and fire queries on the database and perform database manipulations. You can download SQLiteBrowser here.

Happy Hacking…


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