Published: Sat, June 16, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Apple closing iPhone security gap used by law enforcement

Apple closing iPhone security gap used by law enforcement

While this will likely make it more hard for law enforcement officials to access iPhones, it could result in the purchase of more GrayKey devices as they look to get them closer to where seizures occur.

In the upcoming release of iOS 12, Apple will change default settings on iPhones to shutter access to the USB port when the phone has not been unlocked for one hour.

The iPhone operating system will now cut off communication through the USB port when the phone has not been unlocked in the past hour, the report said.

This means that users can still charge their phones, but will not be able to continue to transfer data to and from their device until they enter the passcode. Police sometimes seek to extract content by connecting devices to iPhone ports many days after seizing them from users under investigation.

Apple told CNNMoney that its security update, including the Restricted Mode feature, is meant to prevent criminal attacks rather than stymie law enforcement agents investigating cases. News of Apple's planned software update has begun spreading through security blogs and law enforcement circles-and many in investigative agencies are infuriated.

According to Reuters, hackers or even law enforcement agencies will be unable to access the iPhone's encrypted disk via the charging port, if the phone has not been unlocked in the last one hour.

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The FBI ultimately found a contractor that broke into the phone without Apple's help. Now, in a statement to Reuters, Apple has acknowledged these efforts and says they come in an effort to protect its customers... While it's more of a conspiracy theory that Apple was involved in the process, GrayKey turned into a major disaster for the company that sells its products on the basis of security.

What just happened? It appears that the battle between law enforcement and Apple is about to be reignited. Apple blocked that technique by disabling iPhones after a certain number of wrong pass codes, but the Grayshift and Cellebrite software appear to be able to disable that Apple technology, allowing their devices to test thousands of pass codes, Green said.

Either way, researchers and police vendors will find new ways to break into phones, and Apple will then look to patch those vulnerabilities.

A customer views the new iPhone 7 smartphone inside an Apple Inc. store in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 16, 2016.

The encryption on smartphones only applies to data stored exclusively on the phone.

Law enforcement may be angered by this but private companies are not obligated to make law enforcement's job easier.

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