IOS 11.4.1 update improves Find My AirPods feature

10 July, 2018, 11:20 | Author: Sammy Rose
  • FBI agent on a phone

The iOS 11.4.1 upgrade is small by Apple standards - coming in at around 200MB - but it represents a big headache for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other organizations that want to gain access to someone else's phone because it kills off the most common route to bypassing the device's security.

At first we thought we would have to wait until iOS 12 this fall to see this feature, but here it is. But while it's created to keep out hackers, it now has a bug that would render that feature nearly moot. Those tools end up in lawmakers' hands but, potentially, criminals as well.

Even if forensic engineers are able to stop the device they're trying to break into from entering USB Restricted Mode, Elcomsoft noted that since iOS 11.4, cracking devices such as Grayshift's GrayKey are limited to just one passcode guess per ten minutes.

"In other words, once the police officer seizes an iPhone, he or she would need to immediately connect that iPhone to a compatible USB accessory to prevent USB Restricted Mode lock after one hour". The way it works is that when an hour has lapsed without the iPhone or iPad being unlocked with a passcode, the Lightning-USB connection will disable any data transfer.

Greyshift claimed it had already worked around that restriction but it might not have to, at least not for a while.

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As usual, this iOS release also includes security updates.

This is, of course, most likely just an oversight rather than a hidden (mis) feature.

Restricted Mode is activated if the iPhone or iPad is left locked for more than hour.

Today, Apple released iOS 11.4.1 which fixes a couple of bugs and introduces a new security feature: USB Restricted Mode.

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