Apple has a checkered history when it comes to security on the iPhone. Originally it was laughable, but now they have crossed a threshold into truly secure territory, which will undoubtedly be showcased on the iPhone 5.
Simon Garfinkel writing for Technology Review thinks that Apple may have crossed a threshold recently with iPhone security. They invested heavily in security after their original launch, where the entire phone could be hacked through any and all apps. They have since corrected this oversight and have gone much further. In fact, they have gotten so good at it that it makes it impossible, in many situations, for law enforcement to obtain the data on an iPhone seized from criminals.
The drives are encrypted on a level that the government considers the minimum for national security. They now have a 256-bit encryption key, Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm (AES), a type that is considered unbreakable by modern computers and for any foreseeable future. Ovie Carroll, director of cyber0crim lab within the Department of Justice said:
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.
They can’t ask Apple for the hard coded random encryption key either because the firm doesn’t know them. They burn them into the silicon so that they cannot be tampered or circumvented without the AES engine.
It is also noted that the Android operating system is nowhere near as advanced or secure, which is expected with the platform’s open source foundation.