Cheap device could stall Apple's new USB port lock

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In order to let the accessory connect, you have to unlock the iPhone with a passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID.

They suggest using the $39 Apple Lightning USB3 Camera Adapter.

The Restricted Mode for the USB data connection that runs over the Lightning plug on iPhones and iPads is part of the iOS 11.4.1 update released by Apple a few hours ago.

With the lock in place, data cannot be transferred to or from the Lightning port; it can only be used for device charging. USB Restricted Mode will be optional, of course; users can enable or disable it via their device's settings menu.

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If however someone does get to a phone within that hour period, they can shove in a USB accessory and prevent the smartphone from going into restricted mode until they have a chance to attach a cracking box later on. This means if you haven't turned the USB Accessories toggle on, and it has been more than an hour since your Apple device was locked, a USB accessory won't be able to communicate with your device.

iOS 11.4.1 arrives 41 days after Apple released iOS 11.4 to all users. "According to our tests, this effectively disables USB Restricted Mode countdown timer, and allows safely transporting the seized device to the lab", claims Afonin. "Prior to iOS 11.4.1, isolating the iPhone inside a Faraday bag and connecting it to a battery pack would be enough to safely transport it to the lab", he concludes. It's only really a bug fix release and doesn't look to introduce any new functionality that should immediately break the performance of the device. Law enforcement and private companies could leverage the loophole and design new hardware to continue to crack passcodes through the Lightning port.

However, if a cop gets to seize a locked iPhone until the next iOS update that brings fix to this flaw, they can potentially get around the USB Restricted Mode through a USB accessory.

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