June 6, 2018

CYBERSECURITY: iOS 12 users must unlock their iPhones every hour to maintain USB connections.

The change to a one-hour limit means there is an extremely small window of opportunity for government agencies and law enforcement to use unlocking services and tools to acquire data from a device.

Firms like Cellebrite, a forensic security firm allegedly tapped to unlock an iPhone following the San Bernardino shooting, and Grayshift’s GrayKey tool typically rely on having physical access to the device. As law enforcement needs to make sure the device has been unlocked within the window, it is now significantly harder to keep the iPhone in a usable state until such forensic tools can be used.

“That pretty much kills GrayKey and Cellebrite, Point3 Security director Ryan Duff advises. “If it actually does what it says and doesn’t let any type of data connection happen until it’s unlocked, then yes. You can’t exploit the device if you can’t communicate with it.”

Smart. iOS 12 is due out this autumn.

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