IOS 11.4 USB Restricted Mode will give police a headache

IOS 11.4 USB Restricted Mode will give police a headache

Apple is set to launch a new version of its iOS mobile software that could make it significantly harder for law enforcement to access locked iPhones.

IOS 11.4, now in public beta, adds a feature created to frustrate law enforcement and device thieves: If a device isn't unlocked over the course of seven days, data connections from its USB port are disabled.

Smartphones routinely turn up in police investigations around the world and these devices often have clues on them that could help law enforcement to catch criminals. Do take note that the steps mentioned below work on iPhone 6s and newer devices.

That'll likely anger law enforcement agencies who have reportedly been able to unlock iPhones in criminal investigations easily, using gadgets like the GrayKey. Basically, USB Restricted Mode will lock out the iPhone's Lightning port from transmitting data after 7-days.

Elcomsoft tested the new feature and found that after a week of no unlocking, "the Lightning port is only good for charging".

Restricted Mode can not be disabled without a passcode unlock or biometric login, which deactivate it immediately. This testing showcased that data transfers are blocked after seven days without unlocking a device.

USB Restricted Mode was actually present in the iOS 11.3 beta as well, but was removed from the public release for unknown reasons. During this period, we have not tried to unlock the device with Touch ID or connect it to a paired USB device. "Apparently, iOS stores information about the date and time the device was last unlocked or had a data connection to a USB port", he said. With this new feature, this option will be disabled if the device is unlocked for 7 days. Law enforcement does have a way around this. While law enforcement officials can still exploit devices within seven days of collection, but if they are left in evidence for longer getting into the devices can be hard.

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