IOS 11.4.1 brings USB Restricted Mode but it has a bug

Apple releases iOS 11.4.1 with USB Restricted Mode

iPhone SE, iPhone 6s suffer fast battery drain on iOS 11.4

Researchers believe a security feature designed by Apple to prevent iPhone and iPad data ports being used by law enforcement to crack passcodes may be defeatable with cheap USB devices.

However, there seems to be a loophole in Apple's implementation as discovered by ElcomSoft. "We were not able to find recent stats, but even two years ago an average user unlocked their iPhone at least 80 times a day". While the companies behind devices like the GrayBox have previously said that they can beat this new USB Restricted Mode, we'll have to wait and see whether or not that's true and what's more, what Apple will do to respond. So it wouldn't be hard for police officers to seize an iPhone when it's been recently unlocked, and connect it to a Lightning adapter, preventing the USB Restricted Mode from fully activating, he says.

Elcomsoft explained that this issue with the USB Restricted Mode feature arises from the fact that Apple doesn't enforce cryptographic authentication for iPhone accessories, except for its own.

However, if the device is connected to a Lightning accessory - including one that has never been connected before - the one-hour countdown timer to initiate USB Restricted Mode will be reset.

In iOS 11.4.1, and also in the current iOS 12 beta, if the Lightning port isn't used for an hour, it is deactivated. As a result, the Lightning port can be kept accessible for an hour past the point of initial seizure by plugging in a Lightning accessory. If you want finalized software, iOS 11.4.1 is the one you need, which Apple made available earlier this week.

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A really interesting tidbit from the ElcomSoft report is that since iOS 11.4, Grayshift's boxes are already weakened significantly. You'll be prompted to enter your passcode to get into the next screen.

While Apple might fix the flaw in the next iOS 11.4 release or in the iOS 12, Afonin doesn't consider it as a severe vulnerability and calls it an "oversight".

"We don't know if this behavior is here to stay, or if Apple will change it in near future".

Another user pointed out that the iPhone's Settings apps shows that the Personal Hotspot is using up nearly 50 percent of the device's battery life even when the user has never activated it.

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