Cheap device could stall Apple's new USB port lock

Credit    Apple

Credit Apple

That seems to be the case for Apple's latest controversial security feature which was initially expected for iOS 12 in a few months.

The iOS 11.4.1 upgrade is small by Apple standards - coming in at around 200MB - but it represents a big headache for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other organizations that want to gain access to someone else's phone because it kills off the most common route to bypassing the device's security. But while it's created to keep out hackers, it now has a bug that would render that feature nearly moot. You can, however, find USB Restricted Mode under the Touch ID & Passcode section of the Settings app as "USB Accessories".

At any rate, USB Restricted Mode functions by preventing USB devices from connecting to your iPhone or iPad, and yes, that includes Lightning-powered accessories. While the companies behind devices like the GrayBox have previously said that they can beat this new USB Restricted Mode, we'll have to wait and see whether or not that's true and what's more, what Apple will do to respond. With the data port shut off after an hour, connected boxes to force unlock the phone will not work - at least in theory. Apple hasn't even listed any of the updates on its security update page.

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This is, of course, most likely just an oversight rather than a hidden (mis) feature. Importantly, this only helps if the iPhone has still not entered USB Restricted Mode.

USB Restricted Mode was first noticed by security researchers ElcomSoft back in May during the beta of iOS 11.4, when it was discovered to automatically password-lock an iPhone's or iPad's Lightning port after seven days of inactivity.

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