iOS 11.4 Update Could Limit Law Enforcement Access

An iOS 11.4 update, which is currently being beta tested, will disable the Lightning port after seven days, potentially limiting the ability for law enforcement agencies to access data using GrayKey or similar methods.

The update was confirmed on a blog from software company ElcomSoft. It says that in the new feature, USB Restricted Mode, “To improve security, for a locked iOS device to communicate with USB accessories you must connect an accessory via lightning connector to the device while unlocked – or enter your device passcode while connected – at least once a week.”

The blog goes on to point out that it is not clear yet whether the USB port is blocked if the device has not been unlocked with a passcode for 7 consecutive days; if the device has not been unlocked at all (password or biometrics); or if the device has not been unlocked or connected to a trusted USB device or computer. ElcomSoft say that in their tests after leaving the device idle, the Lightning Port was only good for charging after seven days.

“Law enforcement will have at most 7 days from the time the device was last unlocked to perform the extraction using any known forensic techniques, be it logical acquisition or passcode recovery via GreyKey or other services,” says the company. “Even the 7 days are not a given, since the exact date and time the device was last unlocked may not be known.”

Read more here

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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