This new feature of iOS 11.4 will make it tougher for police to unlock your iPhone

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May 15, 2018
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Security researchers at a password-recovery firm claimed to have found an encryption feature in the beta of Apple’s iOS 11.4 that would definitely make your device more secure and might even prevent authorities to use the cracking tools to unlock an iPhone.

Reading Apple documentation and researching developer betas, Elcomosoft discovered a major new security feature that is about to be released with iOS 11.4. The mode prevents USB accessories from connecting to an iPhone’s Lightning port if you haven’t unlocked it in the past week.

Forensic experts say a pre-release version of iOS 11.4 includes a new feature called USB Restricted Mode that requires users to “connect an accessory via a lightning connector to the device while unlocked — or enter your device passcode while connected — at least once a week.”

Law enforcement agencies have long complained that they need access to locked devices to help with their investigations. But security experts have decried efforts by the government to lobby for backdoors, arguing that hackers could also get that same access and use it for their own gain.

USB Restricted Mode was first found in a beta version of iOS 11.3 in March, shortly after a new iPhone unlocking tool hit the market — a device called GrayKey, which promises to help law enforcement unlock iPhones in a fraction of the time it usually takes.

GrayKey has attracted criticism from privacy advocates, as well as cybersecurity experts, who say the technology could also fall into the hands of thieves if it ends up on the black market.

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