Apple releases iOS 11.4.1 with USB Restricted Mode

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However, it turns out that there was an oversight in security, meaning that USB Restricted Mode can be bypassed by a simple accessory that Apple sells itself.

Greyshift claimed it had already worked around that restriction but it might not have to, at least not for a while. "However, we discovered a workaround..."

The feature, which you'll find in iOS 11.4.1, locks down the data connection over the Lightning port one hour after the last time your iOS device is unlocked. Significant but not listed: USB Restricted Mode, a change originally included in the iOS 12 beta that makes it more hard for anyone, including authorities, to break into the iPhone through the Lightning port. Those tools end up in lawmakers' hands but, potentially, criminals as well.

Afonin's method works by extending the one-hour countdown of Apple's USB Restricted Mode. iPhone users running iOS 11.4 right now have been complaining in droves that battery life has suffered after the update. The researcher also underlined that with the release of iOS 11.4.1, the procedure of "properly seizing and transporting" an iPhone could include a compatible Lightning accessory. Not all accessories work but, for their tests, they used the $39 Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter dongle.

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If you've been having trouble syncing Microsoft Exchange accounts on your iPhone, the latest iOS update is bringing you good news. "We don't know if this behavior is here to stay, or if Apple will change it in near future".

If you think cops won't be able to access the iPhone within the one-hour window, it appears that might not be such a big feat to achieve.

However, Elcomsoft now belives it has found a way round the data port being locked in the first instance, by connecting cheap USB devices to seized iPhones. Users can optionally choose to toggle a setting that only enables the feature after an hour has passed since their last device lock.

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