Apple’s USB Restricted Mode may already be defeated before its release

Apple / iOS / Mobile / Security / Tech
USB Restricted

Special tools such as the GrayKey device could access locked iPhones via USB and Restricted Mode is supposed to prevent that.

Apple is readying updates to users iDevices and among those updates is USB Restricted Mode. USB Restricted Mode disables the USB data connection one week after the device has been last unlocked. Apple has since updated that requirement to every hour, which is far more intensive protection. This would prevent someone from accessing a locked iPhone over USB without knowing the passcode. In the past, you could still gain access to the phone via USB with special tools.

Special tools such as the GrayKey device could access locked iPhones via USB and Restricted Mode is supposed to prevent that. Now, it seems Apple’s yet to be released update has already been defeated by the makers of the GrayKey device.

“Grayshift has gone to great lengths to future-proof their technology and stated that they have already defeated this security feature in the beta build,” the email reads. “Additionally, the GrayKey has built in future capabilities that will begin to be leveraged as time goes on.”

Exactly how the company managed to defeat the USB lockdown is unclear. Further details of the supposed workaround are unavailable, though a second person responding to the original email noted Grayshift “addressed” USB Restricted Mode in a recent webinar. Whether that session outlined a successful exploit is also unclear.

Apple did comment on the new feature and threw in a glancing comment concerning law enforcement’s attempt at a workaround.

“We’re constantly strengthening the security protections in every Apple product to help customers defend against hackers, identity thieves and intrusions into their personal data,” Apple said in a statement provided to AppleInsider. “We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don’t design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs.”

While there is support for law enforcement, there is also some worry about the GrayKey device. Some contend that once a piece of technology is out, it will spread beyond its intended use. In other words, GrayKey is a law enforcement tool now but a few years or months from now, it could be in the hands of bad actors.

What do you think of USB Restricted Mode being defeated already? What do you think of GrayKey? Do you think the technology will get into the hands of bad actors? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: Apple Insider
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