Cheap device could stall Apple's new USB port lock

Credit    Apple

Credit Apple

"In other words, once the police officer seizes an iPhone, he or she would need to immediately connect that iPhone to a compatible USB accessory to prevent USB Restricted Mode lock after one hour".

One of the last updates for iOS 11 was released by Apple this morning, brining a host of new fixes before the company moves on to iOS 12 completely.

Recently, we've seen the emergence of a number of devices, including the GrayBox, that allow third parties to gather data from your iPhone or iPad through the Lightning port without having to unlock your device beforehand. That means if that someone plugs in a device like the GrayKey, favored by police forces in the United States, they won't be able to break the passcode protection and access the data on your phone. If you go to Settings and check under Face ID & Passcode, you'll see a new toggle for USB Accessories. With the data port shut off after an hour, connected boxes to force unlock the phone will not work - at least in theory.

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If you think back to the tragic San Bernardino shooting incident of 2015, you might recall that Apple refused to build a software backdoor for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to access one of the killers' phones, fearing that doing so would set a risky legal precedent. Notable in the new build is USB Restrictive Mode. It may be that cops are issued with cheap accessories to make this possible. But for now at least, iPhones, with this update, are locked down.

Alongside iPhones and iPads, Apple also released an update to bump the HomePod software version to 11.4.1.

These fixes address various bugs, some of which can be exploited by webpages to execute malicious code on vulnerable devices. Get patching, Cupertino fans, by checking for software updates and installing them.

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