In a move seemingly specially designed to frustrate law enforcement, Apple is adding a security feature to iOS that altogether disables data being sent over USB if the device isn’t unlocked for a period of 7 days. This spoils many methods for exploiting that connection to coax datum out of the device without the user’s consent.
The feature, called USB Restricted Mode, was first noticed by Elcomsoft researchers seeming through the iOS 11.4 code. It incapacitates USB data( it will still charge) if the phone is left locked for a week, re-enabling it if it’s unlocked normally.
Normally when an iPhone is plugged into another device, whether it’s the owner’s computer or the other, there is an interchange of data where the phone and computer figure out if they recognise each other, if they’re authorized to send or back up data, and so on. This connect can be taken advantage of if the computer being connected to is attempting to break into the phone.
USB Restricted Mode is likely a response to the fact that iPhones seized by law enforcement or by malicious actors like thieves basically will sit and wait patiently for this kind of software exploit to be applied to them. If an officer collects a phone during a instance, but there are no known ways to force-out open the version of iOS it’s running , no problem: simply stick it in evidence and wait until some security contractor sells government departments a 0-day.
But what if, a week after that phone was taken, it shut down its own Lightning port’s ability to send or receive data or even recognize it’s connected to a computer? That would avoid the law from ever having the opportunity to attempt to break into the device unless they move with a quickness.
On the other hand, had its owner simply left the phone at home while on vacation, they could pick it up, put in their PIN and it’s like nothing ever happened. Like the very best safety measure, antagonists will curse its name while users may not even know it exists. Really, this is one of those security features that seems obvious in retrospect and I would not be surprised if other telephone makers copy it in short order.
Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com