Apple to make change to iOS that will make cracking open an iPhone a race against the clock

Apple to make change to iOS that will make cracking open an iPhone a race against the clock
Apple is changing settings in iOS that will help prevent devices used by law enforcement and hackers from unlocking iPhone models. New products from companies like Cellebrite and GrayShift use a USB connection through Apple's proprietary Lightning port in order to bypass limits on passcode attempts that Apple built into the operating system. These limits were designed to prevent law enforcement and hackers from cracking open a locked iPhone by continually guessing passcodes until they stumble on the right one.

With the new machines able to bypass passcode attempt limits, Apple had to turn to a new strategy, and realized that their biggest vulnerability was the Lightning port. Apple has told Reuters that it plans on changing the default setting in iOS so that the USB port's ability to communicate with other devices will stop if the phone has not been unlocked within the past hour.


According to security researchers, forcing law enforcement or hackers to get to a targeted iPhone within an hour should reduce access to these units by 90%. Ironically, the big winner of this change will be companies like Cellebrite and GrayShift that make the cracking machines. That's because law enforcement authorities will now have to buy many more units in order to have one within one hour of an iPhone seized as evidence.

source: Reuters

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34 Comments

1. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Remove the Lightning port, resort to wireless charging. There, problem solved.

8. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

It's so good and reassuring to know at least a one major smartphone company in this world takes user privacy very very seriously. Apple is willing to put their company on the defensive to the Gov in order to protect the consumer data.

13. IT-Engineer

Posts: 535; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Well Samsung is more secure with their Knox, the Pentagon chose it and approved it for the DoD. If iOS was more secure they would have chosen it don't you think?. I mean it's still secure more than the rest, but not Knox.

14. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

The Pentagon and the Department of Defense use iPhones and iOS devices too. In fact, the president uses a secured iPhone for all of his communications as well. Knox and iOS were both approved by the DoD years ago.

15. IT-Engineer

Posts: 535; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

The president is another story on its own, he uses Twitter too.

18. NateDiaz

Posts: 1087; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Every president uses Twitter.

23. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Excuse me, perhaps I didn’t make it clear in my last post that it included Obama. Obama in the last year of his presidency was allowed to use an iPhone as well. https://youtu.be/e6zn4UlO0fU Here he is talking about his daughters teaching him stuff to do on his iPhone.

33. BLUEBLASTER

Posts: 926; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

I thought he was still on Black Berry?

20. Ninetysix

Posts: 2962; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Cellebrite is including Samsung phones to their list of phones they can hack.

29. IT-Engineer

Posts: 535; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Every electronic thing is hackable

17. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1377; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Really? Because on my Android phone it already doesn't allow the phone to communicate with devices via USB if the phone has not been unlocked. You even have to specifically allow for it to communicate via USB, as a changeable setting, otherwise it only charges.

19. Ninetysix

Posts: 2962; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

24. tedkord

Posts: 17312; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

And Apple said the iPhone 6+ wasn't prone to bending and all other phones had the same antenna issues as the iPhone 4. Corporations don't always tell the truth.

27. Ninetysix

Posts: 2962; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

OK tedkord. We believe you.

26. lyndon420

Posts: 6737; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Geez man... that's actually not a bad idea. I could totally get on board with that...and it would free up space for the headphone jack.

2. f_u_006

Posts: 118; Member since: Mar 19, 2014

That's pretty much what every other company advertises "Unbreakable security, blah blah blah horses**t" until some genius discovers a flaw.

3. rouyal

Posts: 1573; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

Which companies advertise “unbreakable security”?

9. iPhoneFanboy

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 21, 2018

His mum. Didn't seem to work out so well.. Jokes aside, more companies need to be proactive in user privacy like Apple. User privacy is degrading year by year, and the Android consumer doesn't care it seems. Not until it's too late, at least...

16. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Oh that was a joke, good thing you mentioned that ;) And most consumers don't care. Not just Android consumers. Just take a look at the billion Facebook users. Personally, I don't care too much either what a company knows of me. The things I don't want them to know, I make sure they don't.

31. iPhoneFanboy

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 21, 2018

You can say a good portion of iOS devices purchased are based off privacy/security. You can't say the same about Android devices. They have their own other great reasons they are bought.

5. yyzamin

Posts: 382; Member since: Aug 26, 2015

Care to share which company advertises "Unbreakable security" ? Can't think of any off the top of my head.

4. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

And next they will use something else.....in the end not even apple can fix a simple error in an iPhone, which will result in buying a new one....gaching.....apple gets even more dollars from the sheep....

6. yyzamin

Posts: 382; Member since: Aug 26, 2015

Did you read the article?

7. Zylam

Posts: 1813; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

"Only smart people use Android"

12. Phullofphil

Posts: 1762; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Well your not smart

21. Ninetysix

Posts: 2962; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

You're

25. tedkord

Posts: 17312; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Heh. Love when that happens.

30. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

You’re, not “your”.

10. Foxgabanna

Posts: 587; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

Apple makes their money for a reason. They make reliable products that work and do it extremely well. Seeing them take our privacy more serious is a big one for me. I’m really going to look into their offerings mobile and Mac wise this fall. Getting tired of these JANK androids. P.S: out of all the androids the S9+ is my favorite. Just wanted to say that to let you guys know where I’m coming from.

11. cncrim

Posts: 1586; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

The beauty of our democracy constitution at work however Apple will bend over as soon Russia or China request get control of their citizen wonder why?

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