Apple to close iPhone security loophole used by law enforcement

Image    Apple began working on the USB issue before learning it was popularly used by police

Image Apple began working on the USB issue before learning it was popularly used by police

There's news from China, more in the shape of a rumor that Apple may include the USB- C type jack to its smartphones to be released in 2019. That same access can be exploited by special police-purchased tools to break into fully-locked iPhones. An upcoming iOS update will disable electronic access to the Lightning port an hour after the iPhone has been locked.

Forensic companies that once employed machines to break through security provisions will now have only an hour to run code on the devices. The FBI claims it has at least hundreds of electronics devices connected to investigations that it can't access due to encryption.

Two years ago, Apple went to court to block an Federal Bureau of Investigation effort to force it to weaken iPhone encryption on the device of a mass shooter in San Bernardino, California, but officials dropped the case after finding a tool to unlock the phone.

The FBI has never named the security firm or group of hackers who did the work. Instead, the Federal Bureau of Investigation purchased a tool from a third-party that let it hack into the device.

As much as it would make sense for Apple to switch over to USB-C connectivity for its iPhone lineup, I doubt the company is going to make the leap. Prices for the gadget start at $15,000.


Apple began working on the USB issue before learning it was a favourite of law enforcement.

Apple's iPhone could be in for a big change next year. But then Apple made a decision to cut the time span to a mere hour with the upcoming iOS 12. If they want to unlock suspect devices, they'll need to plug them into a GrayKey within an hour of seizing them, which could mean deploying the GrayKey devices far more proactively with first responders, rather than keeping them in a lab.

Apple will address a popular law-enforcement tool for breaking into iPhones, the company announced Wednesday.

"We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don't design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs", an Apple spokesperson said over email.

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