Apple will reportedly passcode protect its Lightning port

Apple / iOS / Mobile / Security / Tech
Lightning port

The update will require a user to input their passcode before they gain access to data transfer from the iOS device.

Apple is trying to make it hard for hackers and law enforcement to get into your iPhone. The company will reportedly push a software update that will passcode protect the Lightning port. Currently, you can plug an iPhone in and (with the right software) access the device without a password. The Lightning port on iOS devices is wide open for that and now that law enforcement is exploiting that, Apple is ready to lock it down.

The update will require a user to input their passcode before they gain access to data transfer from the iOS device.

Apple said it was planning an iPhone software update that would effectively disable the phone’s charging and data port — the opening where users plug in headphones, power cables, and adapters — an hour after the phone is locked. While a phone can still be charged, a person would first need to enter the phone’s password to transfer data to or from the device using the port.

Such a change would hinder law enforcement officials, who have typically been opening locked iPhones by connecting another device running special software to the port, often days or even months after the smartphone was last unlocked. News of Apple’s planned software update has begun spreading through security blogs and law enforcement circles — and many in investigative agencies are infuriated.

“If we go back to the situation where we again don’t have access, now we know directly all the evidence we’ve lost and all the kids we can’t put into a position of safety,” said Chuck Cohen, who leads an Indiana State Police task force on internet crimes against children.

But privacy advocates said Apple would be right to fix a security flaw that has become easier and cheaper to exploit. “This is a really big vulnerability in Apple’s phones,” said Matthew D. Green, a professor of cryptography at Johns Hopkins University. A Grayshift device sitting on a desk at a police station, he said, “could very easily leak out into the world.”

As mentioned in The New York Times, the GrayKey device is what has Apple working on blocking access. The arguments for the device and against it both have merit but it seems Apple is siding with its customer’s privacy.

What do you think of Apple locking down the Lightning port? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: The New York Times
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